Trainer travels 630-mile round trip to Sandown with one runner on Saturday

Laurina at Sandown

John Dixon is a popular trainer in the north west but he rarely ventures outside of his local area. Training at Thursby in Cumbria, runners at Hexham and Carlisle have accounted for almost half of his all time entries which is not a surprise for a small yard.

He has saddled 484 runners since the 1988/89 season, yet to have a runner further south than Bangor. That is a 325-mile round trip from his stable but he sends one runner all the way down to Sandown on Saturday, a trip of 630 miles, not far off double the distance he has ever sent a runner!

Sandown, Haydock and Leicester all contribute to the ITV Racing on Saturday afternoon. Ripon and Limerick also race during the day with evening fixtures at Doncaster and Wolverhampton to close out another busy day for our horse racing tips.

4.15 Sandown – bet365 Select Hurdle

Without a question Captain Zebo is the stable star for John Dixon. Winner of his last five starts, he has shown himself to be incredibly versatile. Those successes have come on good, good to soft and soft from two and a half to three miles and a furlong. A front running winner last time, that style is generally well suited to Sandown, so would be interesting if adopted again.

A horse who does his best work fresh, he once more arrives off the back of a break. This is a big step up in class for him from Class 2 handicap company into a Grade 2 affair but he is still very lightly raced for his age. The second and third to him last time have both won since to give the form a boost.

He has a few pounds to find if he is to continue this winning sequence but the fact that his connections are happy to travel this far with him has to make him of interest at about 8/1 at time of writing.

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