I recently had a fraught discussion with one of the shrewdest form experts in the game about whether BUVEUR D’AIR can be described as a hurdling great.
He advocated that a third Champion Hurdle victory would automatically allow him to reach that hallowed zenith of hurdling.
And yet when you weigh up the races he has won, eight of his 11 timber topping victories have come in fields of six or less, I cannot abide by that conclusion.
Once again at Sandown on Saturday he is set for another hack around the Esher mud in the Contenders Hurdle (1.50), a race he has won for the past two seasons beating those ‘top class hurdlers’ Rayvin Black and John Constable!
He’s not a betting proposition at 1/8 but there’s plenty of other who are including VINNDICATION has impressed me enormously this year and I fancy him to put to bed the likes of Defi De Seuil and Lostintranslation in the Scilly Isles Novices Chase at 2.25pm.
But even that won’t settle the bill for a winter holiday to the Canaries, so let’s hit the double figure margins for our other wagers.
FULL GLASS jumped like a donkey that had 12-7 on his back last time out at Ascot. He could well be the dark horse in the big three mile handicap hurdle at 3pm at the Esher track off a mark of 142, a race where Paddy is paying the first five home.
Snow is clearing at Sandown Park already. Folsom Blue stretches his legs this morning ? pic.twitter.com/EXrPhNxZFT
— Sandown Park (@Sandownpark) February 1, 2019
Old Houblon des Obeaux has unfairly been hit with a 9 lbs penalty for winning the big veterans race here last month when he would have been beaten by Buywise had the latter not crumpled at the final obstacle.
Off a mark of 144 it would take a huge effort for the 12-year-old to see off the likes of GIVE ME A COPPER, Ami Desbois and top weight and stable mate Belami Des Pictons in the 3.35pm.
Lingfield and a couple of races from Leopardstown takes over the ITV Racing mantle from the two national hunt cards beaten by the weather and I make COURT HOUSE the value wager of the afternoon in the Winter Derby Trial Stakes at 2.55.
Despite emerging victorious, John Gosden’s charge wasn’t suited to the run of the race last time out over 12 furlongs and a faster run race over 10 furlongs could squeeze out a career best from him. Stable mate Wissahickon makes the each-way market for us.
Finally a repeat of his cracking fourth in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last year would see the Andrew Balding trained STONE OF DESTINY in the thick of the action for the Listed Cleves Stakes at 1.45pm. Anything in double figures is an insult.