Horse Racing Tips: Rory Delargy’s top picks for Sandown & Aintree

Rory is all over the big day's tellybox action at Sandown and Aintree.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Rory Delargy’s Saturday ITV Tips:

13:30 Aintree – Ahoy Senor
13:45 Sandown – Jonbon
14:05 Aintree – Dr Kananga
14:20 Sandown – Martator
14:40 Aintree – Riders Onthe Storm
14:55 Sandown – Shishkin
15:15 Aintree – Walking on Air
15:30 Sandown – Éclair de Guye

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

13:30 Aintree – Ahoy Senor

It may be hard to forgive Ahoy Senor a clunking return in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby but I’m not sure the track played to his strengths. He can jump superbly when on song, but still tends to be let down by that feature of his game, particularly when the fences sneak up on him.

It’s no coincidence that his best runs have come at Aintree, where he’s able to get into a rhythm that suits him. His two runs here have resulted in two impressive Grade 1 wins, and he will be capable of winning at this level if jumping as well as he did when beating L’Homme Presse and Bravemansgame over course and distance in April.

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13:45 Sandown – Jonbon 

Jonbon shouldn’t be beaten here if he’s to maintain his Arkle ambitions but I’m hoping Boothill will progress again from his impressive Ascot handicap win, so we see a competitive edge to this Grade 1 contest.

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14:05 Aintree – Dr Kananga

A huge field and there’s little doubt that a repeat win for the popular Snow Leopardess would be the perfect result for television. I was with her 12 months ago but her last two efforts have suggested she may have had enough.

I am loath to desert Grand Sefton runner up Gesskille but this is his first try over the trip and may be held up and heave to weave his way through horses. That’s not easy in a big-filed Aintree handicap.

Last year’s runner-up Hill Sixteen is tempting, I prefer Dr Kananga who is a bold-jumping front runner with exactly the skill-set required for this unique course.

His best effort came when slamming two next-time winners by 12 lengths and 11 lengths in the Virgin Bet Handicap Chase at Sandown in February. He jumped to his left then so should do even better going this way round now.

He made a very pleasing return over hurdles at Bangor last month, finding only the promising Maximilian too strong, and he looks capable of doing better again this season.

14:20 Sandown – Martator

Martator makes his debut for Venetia Williams after a break having had wind surgery. Williams has a particularly good recent record with such horses- although most have been  handicap chasers. Last season’s Grade 3 winners Cloudy Glen and Commodore followed a similar path to success. There’s no reason it shouldn’t work just as well for hurdlers.

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14:40 Aintree – Riders Onthe Storm

The handicapper has raised Riders Onthe Storm only 2lb for his win over Hitman and Ga Law in the Old Roan Chase over C&D in October, and that looks like a very lenient assessment of a race which is working out very well. Hitman easily won a graduation chase at Haydock on his next start, while Ga Law went on to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month.

His trainer Richard Hobson was bullish that he had his string in much better health than last season, and results seem to prove that, with Saint Xavier landing a quiet gamble at Haydock on Wednesday. Riders Onthe Storm Hobson has flattered to deceive before but has had six weeks off since the Old Roan success to freshen up.

14:55 Sandown – Shishkin

The bone condition blamed for Shishkin’s shock flop in the Champion Chase seems to be behind him based on the positive noises coming out of Seven Barrows and he really should be too good for his rivals in the Tingle Creek if that’s the case.

15:15 Aintree – Walking on Air

I tipped Walking On Air up in a similar contest last week at Newbury but he was a non- runner. He had looked one to follow when winning on his hurdles bow in January over two miles by 13 lengths and a length from a pair of next-time winners who are now rated 122 and 114 respectively. Walking On Air’s opening handicap mark of 127 looks lenient by comparison.

He couldn’t cope with Grade 1 company after a break at Aintree, but that was a huge ask. Despite his inexperience over timber, he looks to have been handed a very good opportunity.

15:30 Sandown – Éclair de Guye

Likely favourite Revel Hill is solid but short enough in the betting for the London National. Deise Aba tends to run well at Sandown while better ground might help last year’s third Éclair de Guye last home from a potentially lenient handicap mark. He looked dure to win at the last a year ago but faded on the run in and goes well fresh. You could end up watching from behind the sofa though.

Rory Delargy’s Saturday ITV Tips:

13:30 Aintree – Ahoy Senor
13:45 Sandown – Jonbon
14:05 Aintree – Dr Kananga
14:20 Sandown – Martator
14:40 Aintree – Riders Onthe Storm
14:55 Sandown – Shishkin
15:15 Aintree – Walking on Air
15:30 Sandown – Éclair de Guye

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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