04/21/2010 11:00PM

Paco Boy defending at Sandown


Paco Boy defends his Sandown Mile title at Sandown Park on Saturday in the Group 2, $154,000, contest, which was first won in 1985 by Steve Cauthen aboard Pebbles, subsequent winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Trained by Richard Hannon, whose stable has gotten off to a fantastic start this season, Paco Boy also won the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last year before concluding his 4-year-old campaign on July 29 with a second-place finish behind Rip Van Winkle in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes. Richard Hughes will ride this son of Desert Style for Hannon, who has won this race three other times, with Major Cadeaux in 2008 and with Hurricane Alan in both 2004 and 2005.

Confront, 13th in the Dubai Duty Free, and the Godolphin Mile's ninth-place finisher, Cat Junior - who was denied a trip to Hong Kong for Sunday's Champions Mile because of the volcanic ash over northern Europe - both have their work cut out for them based on their recent form. Pressing, a Group 2 winner in Rome and Istanbul, and a Group 1 winner in Munich, has never won at this level in England, but two lightly raced horses could play a major role.

The Cheka won his maiden race by 10 lengths first time out at Ascot in July 2008 and was second here in the seven-furlong, Group 3 Solario Stakes as a 2oyear-old. He won his only start last year, taking a seven-furlong Newbury allowance in July. Prince of Dance was 3 for 3 last year and is eligible to improve off his one-mile listed race score at Newmarket on Oct. 31.