Andrew Balding’s charge our Star value this weekend at Sandown

Royal Ascot may just be a few days away, but we still have plenty of matters to take care of on Saturday, with the sprinters in particular taking centre stage.

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As we look to boost our coffers for the Royal meeting next week, here are the trio we want to be with.

Star System – Sandown 13:45

We haven’t had a winning favourite of this race in the last seven years, so it could pay to take one at a bigger price here.

Andrew Balding’s colt has done absolutely nothing wrong so far, winning very easily at Southwell, before overcoming a slow start and trouble in running to land the spoils when stepped up in trip at Ripon.

He drops back to an intermediate distance here, and although he has gone up another 8lbs in the handicap, he was value for more than the distance suggested last time out.

The hood that was applied at Ripon stays on and getting weight from some more exposed rivals can see him eke out more.

Waady – Sandown 14:55

Two from two over course and distance, John Gosden’s charge is clearly at home on Sandown’s sprint track.

Dropping back to the minimum trip looks a wise move with the son of Approve yet to taste defeat over 5f.

He was far from disgraced over a furlong further at Newbury last month, finishing behind Adaay who went on to take the scalp of the previously unbeaten Limato next time out.

Favourite Likely will be tough to beat if she has trained-on after an authoritative victory over Mattmu as a two-year-old, but with no run in over a year, and no guarantees about her well-being, it’s worth taking a chance with this improving sprinter.

Online Alexander – Musselburgh 15:25

Very little comes into this race in particularly inspiring form, so following the market could be key.

The consistent Red Baron tops the lot after another win at Thirsk, but he now reopposes the fourth that day Online Alexander on 12lb worse terms (including Shane Gray’s claim), for a 2l beating.

In theory that should be more than enough for Kevin Ryan’s four-year-old to reverse the form.

That run last time out was his first drop into handicap company since winning tow on the bounce last August, and he remains well treated to improve again.

With the first four paid out on each-way bets, he looks a solid shout to at least make the frame for those wary of backing the son of Acclamation on the nose.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.