2.20pm Sandown Tips & Betting Preview 23/04/16

The Mullins/Nicholls battle continues here with both stables represented as they look for the Trainers’ Championship at the end of the season with every penny seemingly equally important at this stage. Willie Mullins only has the one entry and Voix Du Reve (5/2) will shoulder top weight here, though even that may not be enough to stop him. After finishing half a length second to Newberry New at Fairyhouse on his British debut having arrived in Ireland from France, he was then thrown in at the deep end at the Cheltenham Festival in the Fred Winter Hurdle when he looked the most likely winner until coming to grief at the last hurdle. That was his second fall over hurdles which has to be a concern, but it’s the only one we can find as this is effectively a drop in class, but we worry that he may not be strong enough to carry eleven stone twelve and give the weight away, which is just about enough to put us off today.

We do feel that Wolf Of Windlesham (11/1 Each Way) is a really interesting contender and as he gets seven pounds from the Mullins beast and a pound from Tommy Silver, he could prove to be a very profitable each way alternative.  He missed the Cheltenham Festival after a really tough race when last on heavy ground at the same venue in January, but that could prove to be a blessing in disguise and he has had a recent pipe opener when winning a low class handicap very easily on the Kempton all-weather. Prior to that he had won easily at Ludlow on his hurdling debut, and then saw off the well regarded Coo Star Sivola a shade cleverly on decent going at Cheltenham, and if he is at his best and gets his ground as expected, then he seems likely to be involved in the finish and hopefully nailed on for a place at the very least..

Paul Nicholls will now be represented by Triumph Hurdle seventh Tommy Silver (4/1) who ran a perfectly acceptable race that day on only his third career start over hurdles. Prior to that run he had beaten previous winner Ashoka by an easy eleven lengths at Musselburgh, making all and drawing away, though he may not find it quite as easy to get himself such a soft lead here. He was staying on at the one pace at Cheltenham so could find the Sandown hill to his liking if close enough at the finish, though there is also the possibility that he sulked when he can’t get to the lead, and he may not put it all in if the same thing happens again.

The small but select Dr Richard Newland yard are in ridiculously good form as we write, with three winners and a second from his last eight runners, so big things will be expected of Duke Street (7/1) with Aidan Coleman booked right and early to ride him once again. Last time out he won by eight lengths from Cobra De Mai at Newbury, though that was over further and the form doesn’t look as strong as that of some of his rivals today. Put up a frankly over the top twelve pounds for his last run, he does at least have some decent efforts to his name behind the likes of multiple winner Leoncavallo, but surely he needs a little less on his back to win a race of this calibre.

Looking for a dark horse to end with and with the Gary Moore team running well of late it would be unwise to simply write off Darebin (20/1) who will sport a first time visor today. Already a course and distance winner here back in December he has also scored at Fontwell and ran an acceptable race when runner up to Disputed in a similar class of race at Plumpton (beaten fourteen lengths) in the Sussex Champion Hurdle, and as he has been left on the same mark and could spark to life in the headgear, he could be an each way possibility.

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