It’s Tolworth Hurdle day at Sandown on Saturday and the Grade 1 feature is one of seven races live for you to enjoy on the ITV network.
There’s no rest for the wicked in this game, so soon after New Year’s Day the show goes on with both Sandown and Wincanton on ITV.
We start with the 13.50 at Sandown – a handicap chase over nearly 2m. JOHNBB is up 6lb for a recent win at this track but might well be able to over come the rise for Robbie Power and Tom Lacey. The selection is lightly raced and loves this track so has every chance of more to come.
Next up is the main event, a Grade 1 for novices over 2m at 14.25. No doubt here FIDDLERONTHEROOF will take all the beating and is my nap of the day. He made all at this track last time and I loved the way he jumped. Two previous defeats were against classy rivals but he is getting his act together now for trainer Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power rides again.
The 15.00 at Sandown is a handicap chase over 3m. BURTONS WELL is very hit and miss and lightly raced for Venetia Williams, but when he has a going day he’s not a bad animal. I will have a few quid each-way and hope he repeats his Aintree run when victorious first time up this season, rather than the effort at Haydock last time.
The Sandown coverage on ITV ends with a 2m Handicap Hurdle at 15.35. I’m with Tizzard and Power again here, and my hope is ELDORADO ALLEN. He’s been off the track since December 8 when unseating rider, but prior to that Eldorado had scored well at this track. Have a few quid on to hit the frame at least.
Meanwhile, over at Wincanton the 14.05 is a handicap chase over nearly 2m. Tough little heat, but I’ll stick with SAINTEMILION for the champion trainer Paul Nicholls and Bryony Frost. He only has two wins from 18 races to his name, but the second at this track last time was a fair effort and the likely favourite can go one better once again.
We follow on at 14.40 with a handicap hurdle over an extended 2m 5f. Anything could happen here, but MAYPOLE CLASS should go well for the O’Neill team of Jonjo Snr and Jnr. A winner at Lingfield last time, Maypole Class should have more improvement to come with only a handful of races under rules.
Finally at Wincanton the 15.15 is a handicap chase over 2m 4f. LE ROCHER did not do badly in France last time at Pau and might be good enough for Nick Williams. His fourth at Chepstow the time before was not a bad effort, and he’s more consistent than most of these for Nick Williams and David Noonan.
Here’s hoping we get the first Saturday of the New Year off to a flyer. You hear me Paddy?
*Odds correct at time of publication