While the bet365 Gold Cup is the Saturday feature at Sandown, the Oaksey Chase has the potential to be a cracker. The first four renewals all went to Menorah who has the challenge trophy named after him. A King George winner versus a multiple Grand National winner, two of the most popular chasers in training look set to clash in the 2021 renewal.
Sandown represents the final day of the jump season for our free horse racing tips. The new season starts just six days later with a Hunter Chase meeting at Cheltenham on the 30th with the professionals back in action at Hexham on the 1st May.
2.30 Sandown Saturday – bet365 Oaksey Chase
A relatively new contest, it was first run in 2014 as a Listed race, made a Grade 2 in 2016. Paul Nicholls has fielded plenty of runners in the race down the years but won it for the first time in 2019 with Black Corton, Bryony Frost doing the steering that day.
The big names
The same combination combine with the current favourite on Saturday in Frodon. The King George winner in December made a bold bid in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month, headed on the turn for home. Jockey cam footage showed the incredible relationship that Frost and her mount share and he is understandably the favourite.
A fascinating rival that has appeared is the dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll. Also entered at Punchestown in their Gold Cup, that being a Grade 1 race compared to this Grade 2. Eddie O’Leary spoke to the Racing Post saying “Sandown would look the likelier of the two because he proved he is not a Grade 1 horse at Aintree.”
That will be music to the ears of his many fans for all that there will be none allowed in to watch him. Confidence is dented however as O’Leary went on to day “He needs to run for the handicapper to reassess him so that’s why we’re running.” That is unlikely to inspire any bar his most ardent fans to get involved for all that he is 10/1.
The jumping of Mister Fisher fell apart under pressure at the Cheltenham Festival when pulled up, doing no better when unseating at Aintree. That’s three incompletions in four runs this season so there are doubts for all that conditions are ideal.
Third in the Ascot Chase was a career-best for Bennys King. He has a real affinity for that course, his four starts there the top four RPR’s of his career. A different track and drying ground give him something different to think about.
Itchy Feet was third in the Melling Chase last time out, once more showing he has an engine without convincing he is a natural chaser. Born Survivor needs another step up on his Stratford win last time out and Militarian looks to have an awful lot on his plate.
On paper, it looks like Frodon is the one to beat and he will no doubt be a popular winner. Bennys King would be a big player if this were at Ascot so he needs huge respect despite the different track. Tiger Roll looks an unlikely winner but he is very much a type who bounces back to prove people wrong so nothing would surprise where he is concerned!
Both Frodon and Tiger Roll are best price with sponsors bet365 at time of writing.
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