Sandown hosts an all chase card, which includes the rescheduled Cotswold Chase. They also have the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase, but many eyes will be on the two races from Leopardstown. We’re treated to a pair of Grade 1 races from the Dublin Racing Festival, including the Irish Champion Hurdle.
With so much competitive action, including further races from Musselburgh and Wetherby, there is plenty of value to be had. We’ve come up with four outsider selections to make up a monster Lucky 15 and you can find them all below!
2.05 Musselburgh – Dear Sire
A dual course winner, he landed the 2018 renewal of this race off three pounds lower. He’s enjoyed plenty of recent success too, having scored at Chepstow back in October.
Although two subsequent starts were below that standard, his latest second in a “jumpers’ bumper” at Newcastle proved he was still fit and raring to go. Returning to Musselburgh can only be a positive and Theo Gillard’s seven-pound claim is a life-saver.
Donald McCain has his string in excellent form and having won on soft ground in the past, the expected rain shouldn’t stop a big run.
2.55 Sandown – Champagne Mystery
It’s still very early days for Nicky Henderson’s charge, who was a winner at Aintree last season in impressive fashion. He didn’t quite build on that form subsequently, but was set some tough tasks, including a tilt at the Northern Trust at the Festival.
He fell early on return in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup on return, but the fact he was tilted at that race says plenty. Remaining on a workable rating, he will relish the softer ground. There’s plenty to like about the chances of this unexposed seven-year-old, who should have far more to offer.
3.30 Sandown – Deise Aba
Philip Hobbs’ eight-year-old won this race twelve months ago, pulling well clear with the eventual second. He finished off last season with a great fifth in the Kim Muir but has failed to build on that form in two starts this term.
A return to Sandown can help matters, however, and he’s just two pounds higher than last year’s winning rating. He gets cheekpieces for the first time and if they help perk him up, he’s got very strong claims under Richard Johnson.
3.45 Musselburgh – Stay Humble
Previously trained by Willie Mullins, he’s raced just four times for Pauline Robson. All of those runs have come over fences, going close in three recent starts. His best effort came over 3m 2f at Kelso, where he was tanking into contention before a bad mistake three out.
He’s thoroughly unexposed over fences and today’s marked step up in distance could really suit him. He’s shaped as though he has plenty of stamina in reserve and his current mark will be no barrier to success. Brian Hughes returns to the saddle and with conditions perfect, a big run can be expected.
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