Posts Tagged ‘ sandown park ’

27 Apr
2013

Luna To Eclipse Sandown Rivals in Final Day Dust Up

Outstanding racing on both sides of the Irish sea today, with the final day of the National Hunt season going right to the wire for jockeys Davy Russell (103 winners) and Ruby Walsh (99) on the fifth and sadly last day of a brilliant Punchestown Festival.

We’ll come to that later, but first up at Sandown the 12/1 with any of bet365, BetVictor, Stan James or Ladbrokes looks too big about the rapidly improving Galileo gelding Leo Luna in the opener at 1.30pm.

He won without even knowing he’d had a race when given a true peach of a ride by Jamie Moore at Bangor last Saturday, a run necessary to qualify for a handicap to enable shrewd connections to have a tilt at this more valuable prize.

It’s a hot contest, but this lad has loads of boot and won’t mind the quicker ground.

Jamie Moore was unlucky not to win on Ubak at Punchestown yesterday, but this might be one in the onion bag for another of his father’s promising inmates.

Sticking with Sandown Park it looks wise to stick with course specialist Sanctuaire in the Celebration Chase at 2.40pm.

The Paul Nicholls trained seven year old seems to reserve his best for the Esher track, careering away with this race by 17 lengths a year ago.

He’s been no match for Sprinter Sacre in three attempts this season, but with the undisputed heavyweight champ safely tucked up in his box after Tuesday’s Punchestown exhibition, the coast looks clear for Sanctuaire to get back to winning ways at 7/2 with any of bet365, BetVictor, Coral, Ladbrokes or William Hill.

Back here in Punchestown it’s a book of five rides for Ruby Walsh and four for Davy Russell as the former bids to pull off a spectacular smash and grab final day heist on the jockey’s title.

In all likelihood he’ll fall just short, but a couple of a ‘R Walsh’ ridden winners look likely nonetheless…

The prices are nothing to get the juices flowing, but they will be more than acceptable for anyone playing them up in multiples, as 4/6 shot Tarla looks a clear pick in the 2m 2f Grade 1 Mares Hurdle at 4.25pm.

Deep ground is right up her street, Ruby had the pick between her and improving stablemate Glens Melody, plus she has upwards of 10lbs in hand on each of her four rivals on official ratings.

Also in Grade 1 company, the first-time hooded Diakali ought to prove up to netting the AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle at 5.00pm.

The Triumph Hurdle fourth is only 5/6 with the likes of Coral or William Hill, but with no Our Conor on display he can see off three stablemates plus Stocktons Wing and One Fine Day to take the bragging rights.

After all, he is a course and distance winner who operates on this deep ground.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets:

1.30 Sandown – bet365 Josh Gifford Handicap Hurdle – 2 Leo Luna (each way) @ 12/1 (bet365, BetVictor, Stan James or Ladbrokes)

2.40 Sandown – bet365.com Celebration Chase – 5 Sanctuaire (win) @ 7/2 (bet365, BetVictor, Coral, Ladbrokes or William Hill)

4.25 Punchestown – ITBA Fillies Scheme EBF Mares Hurdle – 5 Tarla (win) @ 4/6 (general)

5.00 Punchestown – AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle – 2 Diakali (win) @ 5/6 (Coral or William Hill)

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Posted 4 years, 10 months ago

01 Sep
2012

Indian Worth Tucking Into At Sandown Park

Sandwiched as it is between the calendar highlights of York, Leopardstown and Doncaster there’s a slightly more low key feel to this weekend’s racing, especially as the thoroughly entertaining Paralympics are also getting plenty of airtime, but that won’t stop us having a tilt at unearthing a winner or two at Sandown Park on Saturday afternoon.

A quality field of 17 are set to go to post for the 1m 2f handicap at 4.00pm, a contest in which Roger Varian’s top-rated Mijhaar gets yet another chance to shed his ‘unlucky’ tag and bag the win that he keeps promising (but failing) to deliver.

Without a victory since May 2011 he’s run some valiant races in defeat since then – for example a fine third to Gatewood in Royal Ascot’s Wolferton Handicap, plus an incident where he stumbled badly when travelling strongly three furlongs from home at York last time – but despite that their use of a hood suggests he can get quite fired up, and this won’t be easy off a mark of 104 and with it top weight.

Yes, he might be that age old punter’s delight of a Group horse disguised as a handicapper, but equally he’s had a string of chances to prove it, and at 9/2 I’m happy to let him go and back another horse who might be yet to show his best…

At a meaty 8/1 with Paddy Power it looks worth chancing that Luca Cumani’s Indian Jack can continue in the same vein of form that saw him ran an eye-catching race in the hands of Hayley Turner in a hot race at York last week.

Doing all his best work at the finish in a race run over a mile won by David Simcock’s Trade Storm, this looks an ideal opportunity to continue his progress off just a pound higher mark (88).

Kieren Fallon now takes over in the saddle, and it’s fascinating to see that of the two Cumani runners he chooses Indian Jack, as he also had the opportunity to ride the capable Fulgur.

Fulgur would definitely have a shout if he could bounce back to the form that saw him beat Mijhaar not once but twice in the past two seasons, but having run disappointingly and failed to spark three times on the trot now, it’s got to be a nod to the stable’s main hope that Fallon rides Indian Jack.

Without a win since September Indian Jack ran his best race for long time at York, rousted along three out before delivering a withering burst to arrive on the scene at the business end of the race.

Sandown’s stiff track and this step up in trip could give him the time he needs to build up a head of steam, and on just his sixth start for the Cumani team (formerly with Alan Bailey) this could be the day they find the key to him.

A bit each way at 8/1 could well be rewarded.

Elsewhere on the card have a good look at Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Mocenigo in the Group 3 Solario Stakes at 2.50pm.

With the likes of Havana Gold and Steeler not confirmed at declaration time this surely won’t take as much winning, and the door could be ajar for this chestnut son of Refuse To Bend.

He ran a cracker on debut, just edged out in a protracted duel with David Lanigan’s No Jet Lag on the All Weather at Lingfield, with the winner going on to frank the form when scoring by five lengths next time out, plus the fourth home there Piper’s Lass has also gone in since.

He then rolled the ball into an empty net when scoring by 11 lengths at odds of 1/25 at Southwell, but entries such as the Royal Lodge and Racing Post Trophy suggest connections believe they might have a proper horse on their hands.

We won’t have to wait too long to find out…

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets at Sandown Park:

2.50 – Candy Kittens Solario Stakes – 6 Mocenigo (win)

4.00 – Piper Heidsieck Champagne & Levy Board Handicap – 10 Indian Jack (each way) @ 8/1 (Paddy Power)

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Posted 5 years, 5 months ago

01 Jul
2011

Second Favourite A ‘Force’ To Be Reckoned With In Coral-Eclipse

If top class summer racing is your drug of choice then it surely doesn’t come much better than this Saturday’s offering, with the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse taking centre stage at Sandown Park.

There might only be five of them lining up, but quality not quantity is very much to the fore at the Esher venue, with the big race live on Channel 4 at 3.10pm.

In-form Aidan O’Brien’s Aussie import So You Think has been all the rage since betting opened, with an initial quote of 13/8 with the sponsors receding faster than my hairline and indeed quickly going odds on across the board with some monster bets struck, as punters have supposedly laid siege to the those prices – according to the ever reliable bookmakers’ reps!

Undeterred by his defeat to Rewilding when sent off the 4/11 favourite in Royal Ascot’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes punters are clearly prepared to forgive that faux pas, largely pinning the blame on pacemaker Jan Vermeer exiting the stalls in the style of a slightly dishevelled bloke on his day off rolling out of bed, as opposed to the intended lightening break of a man in a bit of hurry.

Still his reverse 17 days was a shock if we’re honest, and while clearly So You Think’s form at a mile and a quarter is first rate (winner of two Cox Plates!), it was on the other side of the world, (largely speaking, though he has two lesser wins at the trip in Ireland to his name) and there is no guarantee his improvement will continue in Europe.

I have to say I’m a big fan of the horse, but he’s going to be have to be seriously good to come up trumps against Sir Michael Stoute’s Workforce, last season a winner of not only an above average Derby, but then the Arc as well!

Official ratings see him a couple of pounds clear, and I think they’re spot on.

The stronger stayer, he has the tactical speed to upset the mile and a quarter specialist, and his experience of the track could be key.

Workforce was an impressive course and distance winner on his seasonal reappearance in the Brigadier Gerrard (where he conceded weight to all comers); and to my eyes this is a great contest, one in which I’ll happily throw my lot in with this brilliant King’s Best four year old to see off a horse who hasn’t yet shown enough on these shores to entitle him to go off odds on against such high calibre opposition.

Not only does So You Think have a superstar in Workforce to wrestle with, but also a dual Oaks winner and four-time Group 1 winner Snow Fairy (she wouldn’t be without a chance but her lack of run since December means she’s passed over here).

Clearly the form of the Stoute team would be something of a concern and has to have been a contributory factor to the price differential in the antepost market, with a run of 30 losers going into Friday, but Class Is Class was a welcome winner for the stable at Sandown later that afternoon, and Workforce can continue the renaissance and net one of the season’s highlights on Saturday.

The 7/4 with Sportingbet or Ladbrokes is a good bet.

My other bet on the card at Sandown comes in the Coral Challenge Handicap at 2.35pm, with Devon trainer Tony Newcombe’s progressive sort Leviathan the one to be with in an open looking contest.

Kieren Fallon gave him a brilliant ride when he won at Salisbury last time, and a three pound rise to a mark of 92 might not be enough to put the brakes on this improving type.

Newcombe, perhaps best known for ingeniously dressing up as Santa Claus and giving away free shares in horses to attract new owners to his yard a couple of years back, has snapped up no less than Irish Derby winning jockey Colm O’Donoghue to carry out steering duties this time, and the pair will be a danger to all at 9/1 each way with Stan James.

Fascinating aside: the only other person I know who has dressed up as Father Christmas recently is Lord Culcheth, who turned up at a barbeque I was attending last summer in full fancy dress, white beard glistening.

I should point out no one else was in fancy dress, but then regular readers will know we are dealing with the same man who went to Royal Ascot four weeks ago swathed in the colours of the Greek flag.

I can offer no explanation….

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets at Sandown Park:

2.35 – Coral Challenge (Handicap) – 10 Leviathan (each way) @ 9/1 (Stan James)

3.10 – Coral-Eclipse – 4 Workforce (win) @ 7/4 (Ladbrokes or Sportingbet)

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Posted 6 years, 8 months ago