04/24/2013 4:36PM

Sandown: Trumpet Major set for 4-year-old debut in Group 2 Sandown Mile


Trumpet Major was one of the better early-season 3-year-olds last year in England, but that might not be saying much.

The crop of 3-year-olds racing last year in Europe looked fairly week once they began to face older rivals later in the year, and it will be at least mildly interesting to see how Trumpet Major, the Craven Stakes winner who managed a fourth in the English 2000 Guineas, fares Friday at Sandown when he makes his 4-year-old debut in the Bet365 Sandown Mile.

Trumpet Major is one of seven horses entered in the Group 2 Sandown Mile, a group that includes his older stablemate, Libranno. Richard Hughes, the main rider for trainer Richard Hannon, winds up on Trumpet Major, whose victory in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes last August at Goodwood was his only success after the Craven.

The 5-year-old Libranno tailed off late last season but was a multiple group stakes winner in 2012. Also in the race is Farraaj, who won the Group 3 Winter Derby on Lingfield’s all-weather surface last month.

Also on the card is the Group 3 Bet365 Classic Trial for 3-year-olds, another seven-horse race. The Henry Cecil-trained Al Waab and the Aidan O’Brien trainee Eye of the Storm look like the entrants with the most room to grow this spring.

– Marcus Hersh