So we arrive at the last proper day of jump racing in Great Britain for quite a while. Thank goodness that Sandown has dropped the mixed card which was neither one thing nor the other so that we have a decent jumps card. I understand that the flat horses found it hard going today but, for the jumpers, the forecast is for good to soft, good in places for the chasers and good to soft for the hurdlers – ideal!
So, on to the races.
2.05 Juvenile Hurdle Class 2 2m 110y
It’s surprising that these are still juveniles but they all have a decent amount of form in the bag. I think that Dolores Delightful is very interesting, notwithstanding the lowly rating compared with some of the others. Lots of improvement to be expected.
Dolores Delightful 9/1 ***
2.40 Chase Class 1 2m 6f
I’ve spent a good deal of time thinking about this one. Having done so I’m against Menorah, Maggio and Gullinbursti and I’ve settled on Rolling Aces. I think that this is ideal for him and I can’t have Hunt Ball on the basis that the relatively new owners are looking for possibilities rather than wins.
Rolling Aces 3/1 **
3.15 Grade 1 Chase Class 1 2m
I’ve tried to find reasons to oppose Sire de Grugy (pictured) and I can’t find any. The Moores have campaigned this horse like in the old days and have achieved the highest level in doing so. I think that the course will suit and while the price is unappealing he must be included in combinations.
Sire de Grugy 2/5 *****
3.50 Grade 3 Chase Class 1 3m 5f 110y
Now this is a real betting challenge! The soft ground is a player in itself and a guaranteed stayer is required. I can’t have Roalco des Farges after his last outing (I was on him so possibly biased). I’m with the good doctor again with Ardkilly Witness (10/1) and a saver with Same Difference, second in this last year and comfortably better off in a no more difficult race.
Ardkilly Witness 10/1 **
4.25 Listed Hurdle Class 1 2m 6f
This is a very interesting race. At the start of the season Clondaw Kaempfer and Clerks Choice would have been considered well ahead of the rest but not in my reckoning. Polly Peachum will win this and continue an upward curve.
Polly Peachum 5/2 **** (include in combinations)
5.00 Handicap Chase Class 2 2m 4f
Another race that presents a proper dilemma on the last proper day (although I’m still looking forward to the hunter chase finals, let alone Ireland and France!). The breeding of all the runners suggests handicaps so I’m going on the horses themselves and their performances and, therefore, the choice is the Skelton’s Ballincurrig, a properly progressive horse.
Ballincurrig a tasty 6/1 ***
5.30 Handicap Hurdle Class 2 2m 4f
This is a horror and needs a brave call. That call is L’Unique, a Grade 1 winner but this is a classically tough hurdle with every chance of o long odds winner.
L’Unique 17/2 *
I can’t conclude this preview without paying attention to the extraordinary Scoop 6 on offer this weekend with a potential £4m on offer! These are my selections:
Leg 1 (2.05 Sandown): Dolores Delightful (9/1)
Leg 2 (2.20 Haydock): Sir Reginald (6/1)
Leg 3 (2.50 Ripon): Fast Shot (12/1) – This is the one that’s been put in to mess up things so choose as many as you can.
Leg 4 (3.25 Haydock): Gabrial’s Kaka (5/1) – Bear in mind that this one really should win but include Foxtrot Romeo and Brae Hill if you can
Leg 5 (3.30 Ripon): Thank God, this one is easy! Bayan (3/1) is thrown in and will win.
Leg 6 (3.50 Sandown): As you already know my selection is Ardkilly Witness (10/1). If you’ve got this far you might also add Houblon des Obeaux as a cover.