Our resident tipster has spotted some value amongst this afternoon's Sandown runners.
There’s a decent card at Sandown this afternoon and I’m keen to have a crack at three of the races.
The Neptune Novices’ Hurdle (2.40pm) has drawn a field of eight and there are some promising sorts amongst them, with plenty of recent winning form on offer. Evan Williams’ Roadie Joe has won his last four and is a battling sort, but this is his biggest test to date and he’s giving at least 3lb away to his rivals. Dan Skelton’s Captain Chaos has won both his starts including a Uttoxeter novice on his reappearance, but he’ll have to jump better here and he’s seen as more of a long-term chasing prospect.
Besides the market looks to have their measure and the value lies with CLONDAW CIAN, who hails from the smaller and less fashionable yard of Suzy Smith. The five-year-old is undoubtedly the stable star and the form of his two wins this winter looks very solid indeed. William H Bonney, the Alan King-trained horse he beat in a Fontwell bumper two starts back, franked the form when winning at Plumpton on Monday, while Bigmartre, his victim in a novice hurdle at the same track last time, is very highly regarded by Harry Whittington.
The latter success came just eight days ago but he hardly broke sweat to win going away by nine lengths and given he looks well at home in conditions as soft as this, it’s no surprise to see him turned out again quickly. His trainer seemed very keen to step him up in grade when interviewed afterwards – fully knowing she has an above average sort on her hands – and she looks to have found a decent opening for him to land the hat-trick. The trainer doesn’t have many runners here – just eight over the last five seasons – but two have ended up in the winners’ circle and backing all her runners would have resulted in a £23.00 level-stakes profit.
I was on Tom George’s NOCHE DE REYES when he ran at Ludlow last week but I soon knew my fate as he was pulled up after making a howler at the first fence. He’s got to be worth another chance this afternoon as he’s an improving six-year-old on a decent mark and loves going right-handed. Paddy Brennan rides and he gets weight from the forecast favourite De Faoithesdream, who carries a 7lb penalty for last week’s Exeter success in heavy ground. He’s by no means certain to run up to the same level of form here.
The 3m handicap chase for amateur riders (3.10pm) also gets my interest. Last year’s winner Firm Order has no doubt been trained with a repeat in mind and you can The 3m handicap chase for amateur riders (3.10pm) also gets my interest. Last year’s winner Firm Order has no doubt been trained with a repeat in mind and you can ignore his last two disappointing efforts as it is all about today for the ten-year-old. However, I’m not sure he can give weight and a beating to Paul Morgan’s CONAS TAOI, who arrives here at the top of his game. The six-year-old has won four of his last five starts and still looks feasibly weighted just a 15lb higher mark than when his winning spree started. The icing on the cake is the booking of Katie Walsh to ride.
Sandown 1.30, Noche De Reyes @ best morning-line price
Sandown 2.40, Clondaw Cian @ best morning-line price
Sandown 3.10, Conas Taoi @ best morning-line price