Happily, the weather gods have relented enough to provide first class action from Sandown and Leopardstown this afternoon and we should be in for a treat.
First televised race at the Esher track is the 888Sport Contenders Hurdle at 1.50, but with Buveur D’Air trading at 1-9, perhaps we’ll give this one a miss.
The 888Sport Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at 2.25 sees the re-appearance of the unbeaten Vindication, which, understandably, is the favourite at 6-4. This 6-y-o is more workmanlike than spectacular and we will oppose it by suggesting a bet on Defi Du Seuil at 3-1.
Just touched off by the re-opposing Lostintranslation at Chelters last time out, Philip Hobbs‘ top hurdler is still improving over the larger obstacles and, given Lostintranslation‘s habit of taking the occasional fence home with it on the way round, we make this a strong bet.
At 3.00, the 888Sport Heroes Handicap Hurdle has a field of 16 (yer, right) and in this we give another chance to our last time out selection Lungarno Palace. This novice has improved as it has stepped up in trip and was not beaten far at Warwick last time out, in a race that favoured the prominent racers. No such problem today, methinks, and we recommend an each way bet at a juicy 20-1.
In the 888Sport Masters Handicap Chase at 3.35 we recommend another last time out pick Belami Des Pictons as a win bet at 3-1. Didn’t win last time, mostly because it didn’t run(!), with the ground deemed not to be soft enough. Definitely OK on that score this pm, so let’s see what it can do.
Also in this race we suggest an each way punt on Ami Debois at 13-2. This 143 rated hurdler can run today off 132, has ideal trip and ground and the stable cat completed a hat-trick last Tuesday.
Sandown action ends with the Take ‘Em On With 888Sport Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at 4.10 and we have no hesitation in nominating JohnBB as the selection for this. An opening handicap mark of 126 might look harsh, but with the two horses that finished just in front of it two runs back both likely to be rated in the 140s, we don’t think so. Have an each way thump at 9-2.
At Leopardstown, the two televised chases are likely to be won by the short priced favourites so we’ll concentrate on the Ladbrokes Hurdle at 2.00.
Just 19 runners, but we have narrowed it down to two, namely Tudor City (14-1) and Try Again (16-1).
Tudor City was 5th in this race last year and is 17lbs better off with the winner today, while Try Again has a big pull with today’s favourite n last time out running.
The cameras are also at Leafy today for the two Listed Fast Track Qualifiers at 1.45 and 2.55. However, the odds-on favs in these races don’t look opposable, so, if you must get involved, we can only suggest a ‘mug’ double.
Let battle commence.
Defi Du Seuil 2.25 Sandown 2pts win @ 3-1
Lungarno Palace 3.00 Sandown 1pt e/w @ 20-1 (4 places)
Belami Des Pictons Sandown 3.35 2pts win @ 3-1
Ami Desbois 3.35 Sandown 1pt e/w @ 13-2
JohnBB 4.10 Sandown 2pts e/w @ 9-2
Tudor City 3.00 Leopardstown 1pt e/w @ 14-1 (5 places)
Try Again 3.00 Leopardstown 1pt e/w @ 16-1 (5 places)