|Group 2, Sandown 15:35
1m, Class 1
|Friday 26th April 2019|
1 Beat The Bank 7/4JF
2 Sharja Bridge 7/4JF
3 Regal Reality 7/1
7 ran NR: Addeybb Distances: ½l, 1l, ¾l
Time: 1m 43.23s (slow by 3.23s)
Beat The Bank beats joint favourite Sharja Bridge by half a length
Trainer Andrew Balding believes Beat The Bank deserves a crack at the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes after battling well to take the Sandown Mile today.
The five-year-old, who finished only 12th in the 2018 Lockinge Stakes, showed he was in much better form this term by outbattling two other candidates for the May 18 feature, Sharja Bridge and Regal Reality, and claim his fifth Group race win for King Power Racing at Sandown.
Balding is yet to win the Lockinge Stakes, the £350,000 1 mile feature race of Newbury's richest Flat raceday, which his father Ian captured twice with Silly Season in 1966 and Selkirk in 1992 from the family base in Kingsclere.
Andrew Balding said: 'Beat The Bank deserves to win again. He is really tough. He can look like he's beat but keeps finding. At some stage he will try a mile and quarter but he will probably go to the Lockinge next and we will take it from there.
'Last year's Lockinge was his first run of the year and he wasn't firing then. We are really happy with him this spring. He deserves to win a Group 1 at this stage. He is a special horse and one of the first horses they (King Power) had. The chairman was particularly fond of him. He'll be happy.'
Beat The Bank would bid to become the first horse since Paco Boy in 2010 to win the Bet365 Mile and follow up in the Lockinge Stakes, where Roger Varian, trainer of Sharja Bridge, would not rule out his horse turning the tables following his half length defeat.
'He probably hasn't done too much wrong,' he said. 'He was outbattled a little bit. We are talking about a horse that won a handicap at the end of last season, a listed race at Doncaster, very well and this was a step up again. The winner had won three Group 2 races.'
Varian, who won the Lockinge in 2016 with Belardo, added: 'I don't know why but I think he is better on a flat track. He's got beat here, he's got beaten at Pontefract and been beaten at Newmarket, all uphill finishes. A straight mile, a strong pace should suit him.
'He probably deserves to line up in a Lockinge Stakes. Belardo was only fourth in this race (bet365 Mile). We are disappointed but we are not dejected.'
bet365 Mile (Group 2)
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm, Good in places
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(8)||Beat The Bank 7/4j||S De Sousa
|A M Balding||5|
|2nd||(7)||½||Sharja Bridge 7/4j||Andrea Atzeni
|3rd||(4)||1||Regal Reality 7/1||R L Moore
|Sir Michael Stoute||4|
|4th||(3)||¾||Suedois (FR) 11/1||D Tudhope
|5th||(5)||1¾||Mitchum Swagger 20/1||Harry Bentley
|R M Beckett||7|
|6th||(6)||2¾||Oh This Is Us (IRE) 8/1||Tom Marquand
|7th||(2)||4||Zwayyan 40/1||Rob Hornby
|A M Balding||6|
|NR||(1)||Addeybb (IRE)||James Doyle
|W J Haggas||5|