The first day of the Coral Summer Festival is scheduled to start on Friday, with several Listed contests featuring on the six-race card at Sandown.
The Dragon Stakes kicks off at 2:20, with the Coral Marathon following after at 2:55 and the Gala Stakes takes place later on in the afternoon at 4:05.
Mark Johnston’s MILDENBERGER (15/8) holds favouritism for the contest, after showing some promise over the staying distances on the all-weather this season.
The six-year-old landed a two-mile conditions stakes at Wolverhampton in January and returned to action at Newcastle in the Northumberland Plate, finishing fifth.
He was sent to the Middle East during the winter months but he will need to show improvement on turf, with his last win coming on the surface back in April 2018.
The son of Teofilo has struggled with small fields at this level before, after finished the last of four runners when favourite for the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes at Newmarket back in September.
RED VERDON (4/1) finished two lengths ahead of his rival in Saudi Arabia back in February and he could well land his first victory in over a year here.
Ed Dunlop’s eight-year-old has been underwhelming since returning from the Middle East, but he showed signs of a revival when finishing second in the Grand Cup three weeks ago at York.
If he can show that level of ability here, the gelding could well strike in this company.
WITHHOLD (4/1) was poor on his seasonal reappearance in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes, but Roger Charlton’s gelding should appreciate the drop in class here and could well deliver a better effort at Sandown.
MAX VEGA (5/1) returns for Ralph Beckett after showing hints of promise over the further distances as a three-year-old, while Ian Williams’ THE GRAND VISIR (5/1) could hold some value after some bold efforts in the Chester Cup and the Queen Alexandra Stakes.
- The Grand Visor @ 5/1