Coverage at Sandown on ITV gets under way with a novices’ limited handicap chase over 2m 4f. I’m going to take a chance here with FLINCK who is at big odds and was far from disgraced over three miles at Cheltenham last time. The Philip Hobbs runner was seventh in a big field that day, but this should be his perfect trip and a mark of 130 looks possible. I’ll have a few quid each-way with Richard Johnson on board.
The coverage starts at Exeter on ITV begins with this novices’ chase over 2m 3f. This won’t take long! THE BIG BREAKAWAY is one of the most exciting jumpers in training and he will win easily if he doesn’t fall or have a migraine. Robbie Power rides for Colin Tizzard.
Now a Grade 2 novices’ hurdle over 2m 4f. STAR GATE looked really special at Chepstow in October and I’ll stick with him. I was working for Sky the day he won, and Evan Williams told me he thinks this horse is really good. He could be anything at this stage and while this won’t be easy, he could be a great ride for Nico de Boinville with Adam Wedge injured.
Now a handicap chase over 2m 3f. SEVARNO is only up 4lb for a success at Sandown last time and has always promised to be a decent handicapper. He’s going the right way and can follow up that victory for Oliver Sherwood and Brendan Powell. Has a big weight, but plenty of class.
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It’s handicap company next with a hurdle over nearly 3m. POTTERS HEDGER is probably not the best handicapped in this race, but like so many of Mrs May’s horses he stays strongly and should have each-way claims. Lucy Wadham is going all right and Jack Quinlan takes the ride on a horse who was second at Lingfield when last seen.
Lastly at Exeter, it’s a handicap chase over an extended 3m 6f! BERMEO is slow as an old boat which is exactly what is needed here. The Johnny Farrelly runner was a fine second at Cheltenham last time having won at that course the outing before. He’s at the right end of the handicap and has place claims at the very least for Mitchell Bastyan.
And finally at Sandown, there’s a mares’ handicap hurdle over 2m 4f where it’s a tough one to call. BIT ON THE SIDE can get you in trouble, but she probably didn’t get home over three miles last time and she has a great each-way chance for Nigel Twiston-Davies and his son Sam. Her form at this trip is progressive and she was recently a good winner at Uttoxeter. Lots of rain might be an issue.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
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