2.55pm Sandown tips for Sunday’s race. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: A very competitive event as expected but top weight FIDUX (Each Way) will be cherry-ripe now after his recent fourth in a very hot race, and with that run under his belt, he can go close today at a double-figure price.
1 FIDUX – Arrived from France in January and promptly repaid connections faith with wins at Catterick and Kempton, but only places in five races since. Ran well enough after a six-month lay-off when fourth at Chepstow in a far better race last month and top weight is balanced nicely by Kevin Dowling’s ten-pound claim and should go close at a decent price.
2 SAN PEDRO DE SENAM – Wears a first-time tongue tie here on his first run for Gary Moore having been in the care of Guillaume Macaire in France where he placed in numerous decent hurdle contests. Moore stable love to have a winner here and well worthy of a market watch for signs of any significant support.
3 MOST CELEBRATED – Neil Mulholland stable are ticking over nicely with a 17% strike rate and the son of New Approach has been admirably consistent with a win or a place in all five starts over hurdles since leaving Saeed Bin Suroor and the luxury of Godolphin. Left on the same rating as when winning in April at Plumpton which seems generous, though this looks a much better contest.
4 WENYERREADYFREDDIE – Three runs over hurdles since leaving John Ferguson for the Nicky Henderson stable and getting better every time with a third, a second, and a win in succession. He stayed on well to score at Doncaster so he should love the Sandown hill and may well have more to offer on his handicap debut with Nico de Boinville in the saddle.
5 ZULU OSCAR – Paid his way when backed from 12/1 to 11/2 on his first run for Jeremy Scott when winning at Chepstow in April but no surprise to see him struggle since off nine pounds higher with an eighth at Chepstow last time out. Even assuming that was a preparatory run he still has a lot to find here in this much better company.
6 SWORD OF FATE – Looking to land his hat-trick this afternoon off a handicap mark of 128 as he ventures outside of novice class. Plenty of room to improve again for trainer Tom Lacey with the booking of jockey Richard Johnson who has ridden him to both his victories and possibly well weighted in his first handicap. Certainly an interesting challenger with decent looking chances.
7 WOLFCATCHER – Visored for the first time this afternoon and with only the one win over hurdles in 2015 when trained by John Ferguson he has plenty to find after twelve losing races since on the flat and over hurdles with just the one placing. Dropped two pounds since a nine-length sixth at Worcester but looks to have plenty to prove at present.
8 GARO DE JUILLEY – Stays further as proved with a win over two miles three furlongs at Taunton in April and ran really well on his return when a three-quarter length second to On Demand at Wincanton. Up three pounds for that he may strip fitter for his first outing in six months and Paul Nicholls will be expecting a big run here despite his rise in the weights.
9 ARDAMIR – Seems to have had a few issues with fifth on his only run over hurdles before reverting to the flat but he has been pretty uninspiring on the level as well for Laura Mongan with a seventeen and a half-length seventh over a mile and a half at Epsom when last seen in mid September. Hard to fancy until he shows something resembling a return to form.
10 MONBEG OSCAR – An interesting sort with any amount of possible improvement after just the four races with a point to point victory at Oldcastle in Ireland and more recently, a two and a half-length second to Master Of Irony at Market Rasen. He stayed on strongly over further that day and may need a fast pace here to attack off of he wants to get involved in the finish.
11 STOLBERG – Has his first run for Dai Williams after leaving the McNamara yard in Ireland but has plenty to find on recent efforts and was beaten a hundred and forty-six lengths when last seen at Cork in April over three miles. Dropped back in trip here and yet to win on ground this fast, and possibly best watched for now on all recent form.
12 MARIA’S BENEFIT – A winner last time out at Newton Abbot on only her second ever race over hurdles and likely to improve considerably with further experience. Her rating of 117 looks more than fair enough after she made all for her recent victory and if she settles better today, she may well lead them all a merry dance and seems sure to put in a bold effort for trainer Stuart Edmunds.
13 GREGARIOUS – Lucy Wadham is struggling for winners lately with none in the last fortnight and this four-year-old grey will need to do more than we have seen so far in this company. He likes it here with two wins over this course and distance but hasn’t been seen in six months and may well find some of these hold a fitness advantage.
14 ATLANTIC STORM – Needs to be forgiven his last run when only fourth at Warwick but looked as if he found the two miles three furlongs too far and sure to be a lot happier at this trip. Not seen since April but the Skelton stable are in great form and if the market speaks in his favour he could be of interest with Noel Fehily in the saddle.