Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle tips and runner-by-runner guide to Sandown 2.25 on Saturday

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Authorised Speed and Tahmuras are set to duel in the Grade 1 Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown.

Gary Moore’s Authorised Speed, fifth in last season’s Champion Bumper, boasts course-and-distance form after defying a penalty to win last time out while Tahmuras, trained by Paul Nicholls, already has Listed honours on his record after scoring at Haydock in November.

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While their task has been made easier by Luccia’s absence, the leading pair will face six rivals at 14:25 on Saturday including an exciting Irish challenger in the form of Henry de Bromhead’s Arctic Bresil.

Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle odds can be found on the Paddy Power website, Paddy Power app or via our snazzy betting widgets, otherwise Timeform’s horse-by-horse guide to the runners and betting tips from the racing boffins are below.

Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle runners

Arctic Bresil

Trainer: Henry de Bromhead Jockey: Rachael Blackmore Age: 6 Weight: 11st 8lbs

An expensive buy after finishing runner-up on his completed start in points and looked an excellent prospect in going one better in a 22-runner Cork maiden hurdle (16.8f, soft) last month, leading before 2 out and quickening clear. Much better to come and needs taking seriously.

****

Authorised Speed

Trainer: Gary Moore Jockey: Jamie Moore Age: 6 Weight: 11st 8lbs

Useful bumper winner who very easily landed 12-runner novice at Lingfield (19.5f) on his hurdling debut in November. Followed up back down in trip over C&D last month, again looking very speedy, and is open to further improvement.

****

Blow Your Wad

Trainer: Tom Lacey Jockey: Stan Sheppard Age: 5 Weight: 11st 8lbs

Showed useful form in bumpers without looking totally straightforward, including when fourth in Aintree Grade 2. Good start over hurdles when runner-up at Ascot and went one better at Kempton despite his jumping still lacking fluency. Cheekpieces on for 1st time. Remains capable of better.

***

Colonel Harry

Trainer: Jamie Snowden Jockey: Gavin Sheehan Age: 6 Weight: 11st 8lbs

Easy winner of second start in Irish points (subsequently bought for £130,000) and left hurdling debut form behind when making all in a C&D novice (heavy) 62 days ago, well on top finish. Open to further improvement and worth a shot at this level.

***

L’Astroboy

Trainer: Evan Williams Jockey: Adam Wedge Age: 6 Weight: 11st 8lbs

Made winning start when edging out Tahmuras in a Ffos Las bumper in February and looked a good prospect when maintaining his unbeaten record on hurdling debut there (15.8f, soft) 10 months on, just shaken up to assert again run-in. Open to significant improvement.

***

Nemean Lion

Trainer: Kerry Lee Jockey: Richard Patrick Age: 6 Weight: 11st 8lbs

Useful stayer on the Flat in France for Andre Fabre in 2020 and looked an exciting prospect when making a successful debut over hurdles at Hereford. Just as good when runner-up under a penalty in a stronger race at Haydock subsequently and not taken lightly for all this is another step up.

***

Tahmuras

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Harry Cobden Age: 6 Weight: 11st 8lbs

Successful pointer who hasn’t looked back since finding only L’Astroboy too strong on his debut, winning a Wincanton bumper and both his hurdle starts in impressive fashion. Will go on improving and has strong claims.

*****

Ukantango

Trainer: Olly Murphy Jockey: Aidan Coleman Age: 6 Weight: 11st 8lbs

Placed in Irish points and won first 3 starts under Rules, namely bumper (on soft) and brace of novice hurdles. Improved again when runner-up to Fennor Cross in Cheltenham Grade 2 in November and dangerous to rule out further progress.

***

Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle tips

Timeform: TAHMURAS has got plenty of speed yet was encouragingly strong at the finish when making it 2 from 2 over hurdles at Haydock and there’s no reason at all why he won’t continue improving for a while yet, so he’s selected to come out on top. Authorised Speed and Arctic Bresil also look very promising and warrant plenty of respect, though others can’t be dismissed lightly too in a race that is perhaps a bit more open than the early market suggests.

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