Arrest out to collar Sandown’s Classic Trial

Arrest is given the opportunity to earn himself a shot at Derby glory when he makes his seasonal debut in the bet365 Classic Trial at Sandown.

The Group Three contest has proved a key pointer to the world’s most famous Flat race in the last couple of years, with 2021 runner-up Adayar going one better at Epsom and last season’s winner Westover finishing a luckless third in the Derby before lifting the Irish equivalent.

Like Westover, the John and Thady Gosden-trained Arrest is a son of the great Frankel and also carries the late Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte operation.

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“We’re looking forward to seeing Arrest back in action, he’s in good nick and it’s a good starting point,” said Juddmonte’s racing manager Barry Mahon.

“It worked out well for us last year with Westover and hopefully history can repeat itself.”

Arrest certainly brings excellent credentials to the table in the 10-furlong contest, having won twice during his juvenile season before rounding off his campaign with a narrow defeat in the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud.

Frankie Dettori will be in the saddle on Friday, with the popular Italian still on the lookout for a ride in what will be his final Derby before retirement.

And with the forecast testing conditions not a major concern, Mahon is hopeful Arrest can advertise his Classic credentials.

He added: “He handled the heavy ground in France last year and I think it was pretty soft when he won at Ffos Las the time before. I think he’s pretty uncomplicated when it comes to ground conditions.

“The trials are all so tight and all so close to the big day, so I think if he was to go to a Derby, we’d probably do what we did last year with Westover and go straight there from Sandown.

“There’s a few nice types in the race, but our lad is ready to start and while I’m sure he’ll improve for the run, hopefully he’s fit enough to run well.”

Westover’s trainer Ralph Beckett bids for back-to-back wins with the promising Salt Bay.

Ralph Beckett has high hopes for Salt Bay
Ralph Beckett has high hopes for Salt Bay (Mike Egerton/PA)

An impressive winner on his Haydock debut in September, the Farhh colt subsequently finished third in the Criterium International and Beckett is excited ahead of his return.

“Salt Bay has trained well this spring and Sandown will suit. I’m looking forward to running him,” said the Andover-based trainer.

“I don’t think the trip will be an issue as he will probably get a mile and a half. It is a race we have thought about for a while for him.

“He is a generous worker and a very straightforward customer. I think he is a horse that will probably improve physically as he gets older as he is that type, but let’s hope he has improved enough over the winter to get competitive on Friday.

“Westover was much more experienced at this stage last year as he had already had three starts, whereas this fellow wouldn’t know quite as much, so the comparisons are unfair at this stage.”

Flying Honours won three of his five starts as a two-year-old for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby, including the Group Three Zetland Stakes at Newmarket on his most recent appearance.

Appleby said on “Flying Honours has enjoyed a good prep and this has been his aim for a while.

“He hasn’t raced on ground like this before although his pedigree suggests that he should be OK and, if it places an emphasis on stamina, it will be another plus for him.”

Salisbury novice victor Circle Of Life represents the King and the Queen Consort for the trainer-jockey combination of Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore, while Andrew Balding raises Relentless Voyager’s sights following a runaway success in an all-weather maiden at Kempton last month.

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