This week is going to be a treat for us racing fans. The main attraction will be the Dublin Racing Festival, with Leopardstown hosting an incredible card with no less than eight Grade 1 races!
There is fantastic action in Britain too, however, as Sandown returns to our screens. The feature race is the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase, with several competitive handicaps surrounding the contest.
We’ll have horse racing tips for all the racing, but I’ll be focusing on the five races live on ITV4. After some digging, I believe I’ve found some value, including a 20-1 outsider with an excellent chance of out-running their odds!
All the ITV races are sponsored by Virgin Bet and you can take advantage of their sign-up offer below. Do be aware, that Sandown is potentially looking at an all chase card. The hurdling races on the current program are at risk, so bare that in mind!
1.15 Sandown – Caribean Boy (9/2)
Previously trained in France, Caribean Boy has raced just four times for Nicky Henderson. An impressive handicap winner on his second start for the yard, he returned this season with a Grade 2 victory at Newbury.
He was disappointing at Ascot when last seen, but that form has been boosted since by Dashel Drasher winning again. He remains unexposed for his top connections and a handicap mark of 154 is certainly achievable. Henderson clearly thinks plenty of him, saying he looks in the “mould of a Ryanair horse”. That would back up the theory that he can improve further.
Dropping back in distance is a small concern, but he’s not devoid of speed and there’s plenty to like about his chances.
1.50 Sandown – Song For Someone (10/11)
This race revolves around two on paper, with the first being Goshen, who has plenty to prove. He was disappointing on return to hurdling in the International Hurdle, weakening tamely off the turn.
He is surely capable of better, but Song For Someone won the aforementioned race and in my opinion, is the better option. I’m surprised he’s as close to even money as he is, given his improvement this term. He’s gone from strength to strength and will relish Sandown’s uphill finish.
His slick hurdling has been his main asset and if he gets into a rhythm once again, he’s going to be a very tough horse to beat for Tom Symonds.
2.20 Sandown – Shan Blue (11/4)
Shan Blue has been a joy to watch over fences this season. He has jumped his rivals into the floor to win all three of his starts thus far, latterly the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.
He tanked into the contest and took lengths out of The Big Breakaway at the fences in the straight, despite three miles looking to be the furthest he’d want to go. Saturday’s return to 2m 4f will help matters and Sandown should really play to his strengths.
Sandown puts a real emphasis on jumping and that will suit Dan Skelton’s charge down to the ground. Harry Skelton is likely to give him an attacking ride from the front and if goes with his usual vigour, he’s going to be extremely difficult to claw back.
2.55 Sandown – Portrush Ted (20/1)
A course and distance winner two starts ago, I’m not entirely certain how Portrush Ted is a 20/1 shot for this contest.
In a highly competitive Pertemps Qualifier, he defeated Storm Arising, who has subsequently won at Chepstow. Potters Hedger, who finished ninth, also scored next time out, beating the third from Pertemps Qualifier, Farrants Way.
That makes a five-pound rise look very lenient. He ran poorly in the Grade 1 Long Walk at Ascot when last seen, but you can easily excuse that effort, as he raced wide in a race where few got involved.
Back in a handicap at Sandown, on very soft ground (if the hurdling races go ahead), 20/1 looks to be great value.
3.30 Sandown – Deise Aba (20/1)
He’s been pulled up on both his starts this season, but Deisa Aba could be rejuvenated by a return to Sandown. He won this race twelve months ago in impressive fashion off a mark of 135 and he returns this year off just 137.
A great run off 142 in the 2020 Kim Muir to end last term proves he’s capable off higher ratings, which makes his two runs this term all the more disappointing. That being said, course form is key at Sandown and he’ll get a strong pace to aim at.
Softer conditions will suit him and with Philip Hobbs enjoying a recent spell of winners, he does look overpriced.
If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards