1.50pm Sandown Tips & Betting Preview 29/04/2017

With just five editions of this two mile handicap to date, it’s difficult to establish any major trends, although the fact that horses higher in the weights have had more success in the limited number of runnings suggests that there may be a bias towards classier horses.

Our tip for this race is Hollywood Road, who sits towards the middle of the weights but who has already shown enough to suggest he may develop into a quality type. Rated 87 on the flat turf, he has won two of his three starts over hurdles including when beating two previous winners last time out at Huntingdon. He showed a willing attitude that day and despite a poor jump at the last he showed an impressive turn of foot to pull away. He offers excellent value in this race as he can prove to be significantly better than his mark of 128 if jumping better, and he has already shown he has some engine.

The overnight betting market suggests that the unknown quantity of Call Me Lord may well be sent off favourite. He comes here following two wins in France, the latter in a valuable hurdle by 7 lengths, and connections often do well with these sorts. He drops back in trip and tries faster going for the first time today with a handicap mark of 135, but he’s a difficult sort to judge and the market will be informative.

In the battle of the big guns it comes as no shock to see Paul Nicholls responsible for the second top rated according to the handicappers with Dolos, who has won just two of his eight starts over hurdles. He has been highly tried, including at the Cheltenham Festival when just 13th off a one pound higher mark, but in this handicap he will need to improve to win and others have more scope for progression.

Gregarious has been progressing nicely on each of his four starts, winning his last two in Class 4 and then Class 3 company over course and distance. He showed plenty of heart to win last time, battling all the way to the line, and second won his next two starts off marks two pounds and nine pounds higher respectively. However, following Gregarious’s last win his trainer stated: “We might run him again but he wouldn’t want quick ground”, and with good going forecast that may prove a problem.

Charlie Mann holds an entry in Fixed Rate, who won at Kempton just eleven days ago by a short head in very similar conditions. Rated 74 on the flat turf following a success over nearly 2 miles in France, he clearly has plenty of stamina and it showed when battling hard from two out to just win last time out. He has been raised six pounds for that victory, and while the front two pulled well clear the form doesn’t look particularly strong. Despite being a double figure price in the overnight betting, he doesn’t look a particularly attractive price.

Hazamar and I See You Well ran against each other eleven days ago, with the former coming out on top over two miles at Ludlow by 3 lengths. Both have been sent off at big prices for high class contests previously and struggled, and neither looks particularly well handicapped, with that form of that race looking weak on paper.

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