13:50 Sandown Sat 27 April 2019
- bet365 Novices' Championship Final Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)
- 1m 7f 216y, Good (Good to Firm in Places)
- 15 Runners
- Surface: Turf
Flopped in the Premier Hurdle at Kelso (2m2f) in March, but back on song north of the border with a fast, fluent round of hurdling at Ayr (2m, good) 15-days ago; conditions favourable; live contender.
French import; made short work of inferior rivals at Fontwell (2m1½f, good to soft) and Kelso (2m, good); never really able to get competitive in the Grade 3 Imperial Cup over C&D (soft) latest; stablemate of Heatstroke.
Useful on the flat (103-rated); 2-5 over hurdles, enjoying rich pickings in very winnable contests in the north at Sedgefield (2m1f) and Hexham (2m); competitive until the bitter end (fourth) on handicap debut at Aintree (2m+, good).
Stepped up in grade seeking a hat-trick following back-to-back wins at Kempton (2m) and Market Rasen (2m2½f); official handicap rating edging steadily upwards for those novice wins; conditions fine; has the measure of a couple of today's rivals.
Five-time Flat winner (Group placed); ready 4½L winner at Huntingdon (2m, good to soft) at the start of his second spell over timber; weakened (fifth) in the Grade 2 Dovecote at Kempton latest - ran better than the bare finishing position.
Sent off at 4/1f for a Class 2 handicap at Haydock (2m, good) last weekend, but had the misfortune to slip up before the race developed in earnest; relatively fresh and will handle conditions; improvement required on overall balance.
One of two runners for the in-form Skelton yard; progressing nicely over obstacles and versatile in terms of conditions (good and soft ground winner); pushed clear to beat Espoir De Guye by 7L at Warwick (2m) in March.
92-rated on the Flat (close up fourth in Doncaster's November Handicap); finished second on his first three starts over hurdles before winning his next couple (both over 2m3f at Taunton); Harry Cobden prefers stablemate Getaway Trump.
2-3 over hurdles in 2019, recording a clear career best at Cheltenham (2m1f, good to soft) in January when beating today's rival Flash The Steel by almost 3L; yard among the winners up at Perth this week.
Stablemate of Dream Du Grand Val; made a winning hurdles debut (maiden) in a slowly run race at Huntingdon (2m, good to soft) in January; well below-par behind Harambe next time, before a better run at Wincanton latest; more required.
One of two runners for the in-form Skelton yard (appears to be the number one with Harry Skelton in the saddle); showed a determined attitude when fending off 12 rivals in a Class 4 novice at Newbury (2m) five-weeks ago; handicap debut.
One-time AW regular for James Bethell; joined the Pipe yard for 14,000gns in October 2018, springing a 14/1 surprise on debut at Taunton (2m+, good); has run adequately since without necessarily improving; blinkers added.
Short odds winner of a couple of minor events at Hereford (2m, good to firm) in the autumn of 2018; has come up fractionally short in better races since but deserves to take his chance with conditions suitable.
Left John Gosden light on experience for 26,000gns in October 2018; has proved to be a shrewd acquisition with two hurdle wins at Ludlow and Stratford (beat today's rival Airton most latterly) already recorded in 2019; the sole 4yo in the line-up.
Won three-times in the summer of 2018 (Stratford x2 and Fontwell), so clearly relishes racing on a sound surface; well held third to Harambe (Kempton) off a three-month break latest; this race is seemingly too competitive.
Last Year's Winner
|T: N A Twiston-DaviesJ: D A Jacob|
Getaway Trump (9/2), Humble Hero (6/1), Harambe (13/2), Lord Yeats (7/1), Scarlet Dragon (8/1), Benny's Bridge (17/2), Birds Of Prey (14/1), Dream Du Grand Val (14/1), Flash The Steel (16/1), Petit Palais (16/1), Cause Toujours (20/1), What's Occurring (22/1), Airton (25/1), Romanor (28/1), Heatstroke (33/1)
- Humble Hero
- Getaway Trump
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