Horse Racing Tips: 3 things to watch out for at Sandown as Kitty’s Light goes for rare double

The racing boffins preview the big two-day meet at the Esher track.

Kitty's Light wins the Scottish Grand National


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Arrest could be a Derby contender for Dettori

Sandown Park plays host to a high-quality Flat card on Friday with the first three past the post in last year’s Champion Stakes all featuring among the five-day entries. Bay Bridge and Adayar, who were split by just a neck when fighting out the finish at Ascot, could go head-to-head again in the Gordon Richards Stakes (14:25), while the third from that race, My Prospero, is likely to be a warm order if taking up his entry in the Mile (15:00).

A few interesting three-year-olds are also set to go to post for the Classic Trial (15:35), perhaps none more so than Arrest, who achieved a smart level of form in four starts as a two-year-old. He was last seen filling the runner-up spot in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud in October, sticking to his task well to be beaten just a head and pulling clear of the remainder.

That form comfortably sets the standard here on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings and Arrest has a physique (rangy, attractive colt) which suggests he could have lots more to offer as a three-year-old for the John and Thady Gosden yard which won this race in 2008, 2010, 2014, 2017 and 2018.

More recently, Adayar filled the runner-up spot in 2021 before going on to win the Derby, while Westover was a narrow winner last year before finding only Desert Crown too good at Epsom. It promises to be another informative Derby trial this year and there would be no more welcome winner than Arrest as Frankie Dettori looks for a legitimate Epsom contender in his final season riding.

Jonbon steps up for Celebration test

The excellent action at Sandown switches codes on Saturday as the National Hunt season in Britain draws to a close with a seven-race card, including the final Grade 1 of the campaign in the shape of the Celebration Chase (13:40).

Greaneteen promises to take plenty of beating as he tries to emulate Altior by winning the race for the third year in a row, but he could have his work cut out if the novice Jonbon lines up against him having won four of his five starts over this season, including the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase over this course and distance back in December.

Jonbon also won the Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree last time, but he actually produced his best effort in defeat on Timeform ratings when filling the runner-up spot in the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival the time before. That was a top-class edition of that race and there was no disgrace in being beaten only five and a half lengths behind El Fabiolo, who looks destined for the very top in the two-mile chasing division next season.

There is nothing of El Fabiolo’s calibre in opposition here and Jonbon is rated 1 lb above Greaneteen and 2 lb above Editeur du Gite on Timeform’s figures. He certainly adds plenty of intrigue to the race, stepping out of novice company for the first time, and it looks a good opportunity for him to add another win to his tally if this doesn’t come too soon after Aintree.

Kitty’s Light attempting to complete rare double

The Scottish Grand National and bet365 Gold Cup (14:15) are two of the most competitive handicaps run in Britain all season and to win both races in the space of a week is no mean feat. It’s only been done once before by Hot Weld in 2007, but the way Kitty’s Light won at Ayr last Saturday suggests he is very much one to keep on the right side in his follow-up bid.

Held up in the early stages of the Scottish National, Kitty’s Light made gradual progress through the field and had worked his way to the front by the time they reached the last. Not even a mistake there could halt his momentum and he typically found plenty on the run-in to land the spoils by three lengths in convincing fashion.

Crucially, Kitty’s Light escapes a penalty for that success and victory in this prestigious handicap would be thoroughly deserved for a horse who has gone close in the last two renewals, finishing second in 2021 and third – from 5 lb higher in the weights – 12 months ago.

The seven-year-old also filled the runner-up spot in last year’s Scottish Grand National, so the quick turnaround shouldn’t be an issue as he tries to complete a big-race hat-trick having also won the Eider at Newcastle in February.



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