Fortune Stakes Tips & Betting Preview

A field of ten useful horses go to post for the 2017 running of the Fortune Stakes at Sandown. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: LAIDBACK ROMEO can boast a very good record over course and distance with two victories and he arrives here as a live danger. He’s been improving to no end this season in handicaps and, with connections in such brilliant form, improvement is likely to be forthcoming. Conditions are to suit and, with Adam Kirby taking back the ride, he should be making a race winning challenge late on now upped into pattern company. Richard Pankhurst looks like a big danger on his best form but has plenty to prove. The biggest danger is likely to come from Escobar who has run far too keenly in his races but now has the hood and tongue-tie added.

1 KOOL KOMPANY – Returned this season to win the Doncaster Mile, but he’s failed to match that form in preceding runs this season, with a fourth in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom in June remaining his best effort since. He’s been well beaten at both Glorious Goodwood and Veliefendi (Turkey) since then and, although those were in tougher race than this, he needs to be at his best against some competitive opposition. Each way claims under Tom Marquand, but he’s likely to find at least one of these too strong.

2 HORS DE COMBAT – Losing run stretches way back to May 2014 and although he doesn’t have much to find on the form, whether he really puts it all in is a big question. His latest fourth over course and distance in a very competitive handicap was a solid effort, but he was never closer than he was at the finish, still beaten two lengths. A strong pace would suit him massively, however that doesn’t look likely here so he may just be running on when it’s all over.

3 LAIDBACK ROMEO – Dual course and distance winner for Clive Cox who has been improving this season in handicaps, with his effort over course and distance two starts ago a standout performance. He shaped as though far more could be expected and, with connections in such brilliant form, improvement should be expected. He goes well at this venue and a big run is on the cards with Adam Kirby taking the ride.

4 MURAD KHAN – Lightly raced four-year-old who won at Windsor in June but has come up short in two valuable handicaps since for Hugo Palmer. He never looked threatening when unable to quicken at Chelmsford on his latest start and this is a much tougher race, with his previous efforts in pattern company not making for pleasant reading. He should fall short here.

5 RICHARD PANKHURST – Inconsistent performer for John Gosden who won a Group 2 at Newbury in August 2016 but he’s failed to get his best stride in two runs this season. Those runs, however, came in Group 2 company and he takes a big drop in class for this. That said, he offered little encouragement when never better than his finishing position in a well held fifth at Goodwood on his latest start and he does rate as a risky proposition. It’s hard to discount him, but others look like far more solid options.

6 KHAFOO SHEMEMI – Given a very soft lead in the course and distance Heron Stakes two starts ago and he made no mistake by downing Escobar by a head. He’s unlikely to get that same privilege here and, although he had excuses on his latest start, he does need another career best to win this and Escobar was on seasonal debut that day. He’s an each way contender if he can bag a lead, but he should find at least a few of these too classy for him.

7 D’BAI – Posted a career best by some way when storming home to win a competitive handicap at Ascot in July, with the form of that race working out well. He failed to back that effort up though when only third in a Listed race at Bordeaux Le Bouscat earlier this month, with the form of that race nothing to shout about. He had little excuse that day and he does need to bounce back, although that wouldn’t be surprising given the form of the yard. Conditions will be fine and he stays this trip very strongly so he’s one to consider.

8 ESCOBAR – Ran a great race on return when just failing to grab Khafoo Shememi late in a course and distance Listed contest here in May, far from disgraced when subsequently fifth in a Group 3 at Goodwood when pulling too hard early on. He’s struggled on two runs either side of that effort, but the hood and tongue-tie are now added and today’s ground should suit him massively. Frankie Dettori takes the ride for the in-form Hugo Palmer yard and he looks like a very big danger.

9 LARCHMONT LAD – Has generally found life difficult this season, with his standout effort being a second at Newmarket in a Listed race back in May. He’s failed to build on that though and was last at Haydock on his final outing for Richard Hannon, always in the rear and offering no response when ridden. David O’Meara tends to do well with recruits from other yards so he’s one to note in the betting, however there is no doubt that he needs to bounce back to his very best to be winning this.

10 NAVAL WARFARE – Won on his seasonal debut in a Class 4 Handicap before being brushed aside in two Class 2 events since. Down the weights, he made all at Newmarket on his latest start, but he won’t be getting a soft lead here and this is a much tougher race. Conditions will suit and connections are in great form, but others are readily preferred as he doesn’t look up to this level.

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