Live action today from the meetings at Sandown and Wincanton, with the richest race of the day being the final of the ‘Veterans‘ series, which takes place at the Esher track at 3.00.
13 ‘Golden Oldies’ to choose from and our definite pick is Lee Marvin‘s horse Wandrin Star.
This has been a meticulously planned project by Kim Bailey, involving a wind ‘tweak’ in the close season followed by a win in a qualifier over today’s CD. That run was in November last year, but with the 11-y-o always running best when fresh, you betcha it turns up today primed and ready.
We think Wandrin Star is generously priced at 8-1 and recommend a half decent each way belt.
Telly action starts with the Unibet Handicap Chase at 1.50, in which the favourite, Gunsight Ridge looks worth a bet. Being beaten 6 lengths at Exeter last time out reads a whole lot better after the winner, L’Homme Presse, won its next two by half the track and is now rated no less than 26lbs higher. A win bet at 9-4 is suggested.
We can’t leave this race without also recommending a ‘cover’ bet on Bun Doran, which has slipped to a very silly mark and is available at 10-1.
The Unibet Tolworth Hurdle at 2.25 has Constitution Hill installed as 1-3 favourite, so we will just watch and perhaps marvel at a bit of class.
This brings us to the Unibet Handicap Hurdle at 3.35, in which handicap debutante Hermes Boy looks undoubtedly well treated off an opening mark of 124 after winning an 18 runner Novice Hurdle at Exeter last month.
Second and third in that race finished second and first next time, with the winner coming home 25 lengths clear, so, provided Hermes Boy handles the more testing ground, it must go close. 9-4 looks a fair price.
Down at Wincanton, the Leonna Mayor Handicap Hurdle at 1.30 is first up and the most intriguing runner in this is the Tom George trained Coupdebol.
This 7-y-o has had just 3 runs spanning nearly 3 years and has clearly been difficult to train. A very promising third in a valuable race at Compeigne before joining Mr George was followed by a low key stable debut 6th of 16 at Newbury. That was in November 2019 and Coupdebol was not seen again until the middle of December last year when it ran a stormer to be 6th, again at Newbury. That run qualified it for a handicap mark (106) and, assuming all is now well, that could be a serious underestimation.
At 13-2 we are happy to find out.
The Biotech Handicap Chase at 2.00 looks like a good opportunity for Grey Diamond to return to winning ways, with the usual hood back on and Jack Tudor taking off a valuable 3lbs. Have a win bet at 11-4.
The handicap hurdle at 2.40 has a competitive look to it, but again there might be a snip on handicap debut in the shape of Crossing The Bar.
Philip Hobbs‘ 5-y-o, rated 83 on the Flat, has had just the two runs over hurdles, finishing 4th and 3rd, staying on nicely each time, suggesting the step up in trip today will suit. 108 looks a handy mark so let’s back it at 3-1.
Final race on the box is the Ocean Handicap Chase at 3.15 and, after (hopefully) Grey Diamond‘s earlier victory we go for a Sam Thomas double with Stolen Silver.
Back in handicap company and stepping up in trip should do the trick and, again, the price of 11-4 looks more than fair.
That’s all, folks.
Wandrin Star 3.00 Sandown 1.5pts e/w @ 8-1 (5 places Hills/Skybet)
Gunsight Ridge 1.50 Sandown 3pts win @ 9-4
Bun Doran 1.50 Sandown 1pt win @ 10-1
Hermes Boy 3.35 Sandown 2pts win @ 9-4
Coupdebol 1.30 Wincanton 1.5pts e/w @ 13-2 (5 places Paddy/Skybet/Betfred)
Grey Diamond 2.05 Wincanton 2pts win @ 11-4
Crossing The Bar 2.40 Wincanton 3pts win @ 3-1
Stolen Silver 3.15 Wincanton 3pts win @ 11-4