Trainer Bryan Smart landed a third win in the Beverley Bullet a year ago with Alpha Delphini, setting a new benchmark for wins in the five-furlong Listed contest as he did.
Alpha Delphini is back for more on Saturday and makes appeal as an each-way proposition at odds of 13/2 amongst a field of 11.
The 5f at Beverley is a stiff test and takes some getting, so the fact Alpha Delphini is proven here is a big plus. Also in his favour will be the presence of the likes of Take Cover and Final Venture in the field, set to ensure he gets his desired helter-skelter pace at which to aim.
This race has only been in existence since 2004, but victory for Alpha Delphini would see the six-year-old gelding emulate Chookie Helton in becoming a back-to-back winner.
Graham Lee takes over in the plate this year, Connor Beasley having won a year ago, and he got some useful experience in the Nunthorpe at York.
Alpha Delphini won’t meet anything near as talented now and with his best efforts this year coming at Hamilton, the strong suspicion is that he’ll go well again on this similar track.
Also worth an interest could be C&D specialist Pipers Note (14/1), three-times a winner here and in excellent heart this summer with two wins over 6f on easier tracks. Ruth Carr’s charge should also relish this track and trip once again.
There’s group-race action meanwhile at Sandown where John Gosden attempts to win the Solario Stakes for the fifth time this decade with the once-raced Purser (7/2).
He made a visually impressive start when winning over the 7f trip at Newbury but will likely have his work cut out in squaring off against Charlie Appleby’s Masar (2/1), last spotted finishing third in the Chesham at Royal Ascot and fully deserving of the favourites tag here on form.
A good battle may ensue, but the Godolphin-owned son of New Approach might prove too strong under James Doyle.
Gosden and Frankie Dettori might not have long to wait for compensation, with their filly Nathra (3/1) looking a major player in the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes, dropped in class after a fair effort last time in the Hungerford at Newbury.