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Twominutes Turkish showed ability in his bumpers, finishing fifth in a Newbury bumper (good ground) on his debut and was then sixth at Huntingdon (soft ground) behind Third Time Lucki and Bothwell Bridge. He bolted up on hurdles debut at Fakenham on good ground last October but the race probably didn’t take that much winning as two of the market principles underperformed. The second Rock The House has won a handicap off 103 recently.
Twominutes Turkish was then second, beaten 5l by Cadzand (rated 138) conceding a 6lb penalty at Warwick in November. He was off until last month when reappearing at Warwick against Calico who was a 1/4 shot. Soft ground not ideal and he went out to make all but weakened once passed two out, shaping like the run was needed.
A stiff two miles on decent ground should really suit him now.
This may be a long-term plan.
Put The Kettle On was really brave when winning the Champion Chase but Cheltenham really suits her and I wouldn’t be sure she can hold these off around Sandown.
Altior won the last three renewals of this contest but running over just shy of 2m on decent ground must be a little bit of a concern now. That’s why Sceau Royal gets the nod on his favoured good ground now.
He has been mixing hurdling and chasing this season, but after his fall in the Desert Orchid Chase, he won the Game Spirit at Newbury. He was electric over his fences in the Champion Chase, before getting badly hampered after jumping three out. It was Daryll Jacob’s fault for going for a gap that wasn’t really there.
He was only beaten less than four lengths and surely would have gone close but for the interference. He won a Henry VIII at this venue as a novice and has been second to Altior in this race in 2019.
The ground is ideal and if he jumps like he did at Cheltenham, he is the one to beat as far as I am concerned.
Irish Prophecy was highly regarded early in his career, as he beat Champ in a Kempton bumper back in February 2017, though was getting 9lbs off him.
He won his maiden hurdle at Sandown on decent ground and has shown a definite preference for good ground during his career and still only an eight-year-old. He has a definite preference for going right handed also and ties in with El Presente on Exeter form back in October when beaten a length over 3m.
He bolted up at Taunton in November over 2m 7f when Pontresina fell at the last but she was five lengths down. Irish Prophecy got 7lbs for that win which was probably warranted.
He had a break during the winter and had a spin over hurdles at Ascot last month to leave him spot on for this. There’s a small question mark about getting this extreme trip but if he gets it, he has a massive chance. He’s coming from a yard in form with three winners from their last 10 runners too.
Call Me Lord and On The Blind Side and Pic D’Orhy all carry penalties here. Younevercall won this contest back in 2019 when it was last run, beating On The Blind Side by nine lengths.
This season he has been better than the form figures might suggest and finished an excellent second in a Pertemps qualifier at Kempton off 154. He ran well in fourth in the Long Walk Hurdle, beaten only seven lengths before being pulled up in the rescheduled Relkeel at Kempton.
He finished midfield in the Stayers’ Hurdle where 3m on ground with plenty of give in it, wouldn’t have been ideal.
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Lord Campari is the interesting runner after just four starts. He was impressive on reappearance in a Newbury maiden last June, but was disappointing up in grade on both subsequent starts. He could improve plenty this season but doesn’t deserve to be among the market leaders.
Pogo was progressive last season and just touched off on reappearance at Newmarket over 7f off 103. He was then third in the Hunt Cup off 105 and bolted up in a Windsor Listed race over a mile, winning by five and half lengths.
He was even third in the G1 Prix d’Ispahan behind Persian King. The drop back to 7f is no issue and fast ground is also ideal for him.
The Chris Wall-trained Kingmania showed plenty of promise on first two starts in maidens at Newbury when sixth and Pontefract when fourth, on both occasions staying on strongly but not having the pace at that trip.
She stepped up to 7f for her handicap debut at Yarmouth in September off 66 and she won nicely.
I’m open to plenty of improvement this season, as was a bit clueless last season. Chris Wall landed a touch at Yarmouth on Tuesday to give him two winners from his last six runners.
Kingmania could end up rated far higher than 72 this season and is one to follow, particularly when going up to a mile.
Simon Crisford won this last year with Mordin and has a good chance of doubling up here with Finest Sound.
He showed useful form as a juvenile, when placed behind the likes of Palace Pier and Kinross. He was progressive last season, bolting up here on handicap debut off 82.
He was second in the Britannia off 87 when 11/4 favourite where the winner Khaloosy was winning off 94 and placed in two Group 3’s on his next two starts and is now rated 109.
He was only just touched off on reappearance at Notthingham over a mile, being beaten a short head off 94. The third, Nugget, won the Spring Cup at Newbury last weekend.
Finest Sound has gone up 2lbs, but I reckon there is a good handicap in him this season and this could be it.
Frank Hickey’s Saturday tips:
Sandown 13.55 – Twominutes Turkish (Each Way)
Sandown 15.05 – Sceau Royal
Sandown 15.40 – Irish Prophecy (Each Way, 5 places)
Sandown 16.15 – Younevercall
Leicester 14.10 – Pogo
Leicester 16.30 – Kingmania
Haydock 16.35 – Finest Sound
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