There are more Cheltenham trials today on Channel ITV4, with televised racing from Sandown and Musselburgh.
Bet365’s ITV Racing 4/1 Offer means that if you back a winner at 4/1 or more in any ITV1 or ITV4 race, you’ll get a risk free bet to the same value on the next live ITV race.
Betfred Handicap Chase
Some very wet ground at the Esher circuit has to led to small fields for a number of the big races on today’s Sandown card, which may make finding decent price winners difficult.
However, everyone know how effective Venetia Williams’ runners are on heavy going and she can get the day off to a flying start for us with BRIGHT NEW DAWN in the Betfred Handicap Chase over 2 miles. She has had this horse for a while now and well as he ran here on his debut for his new yard four weeks ago you would expect Williams to have found the key to his best form during the break since then.
|Bright New Dawn (ew)||1.15 Sandown||4/1||Bet365, Betfred|
Betfred Contenders Hurdle
The Contenders Hurdle sees Buveur D’Air return to hurdles today in anticipation of a crack at the Champion Hurdle, but these small field trials on very soft ground can throw up a few surprises, so you could do worse than have a few quid on RAVIN BLACK, who loves these conditions and often runs his best races here. It would be some consolation for Oliver Sherwood after the tragic demise of Many Clouds last weekend.
|Ravin Black (win)||1.50 Sandown||10/1||Bet365|
Betfred Heroes Handicap Hurdle
The best race for punters to get stuck into is the Betfred Handicap Hurdle over just short of three miles at 3.00pm.
The trip will take some getting in the ground and we think that will suit LORD OF THE ISLAND. Trainer Fergal O’Brien is having a breakthrough season and this horse has really found his form recently. He looks ready for the step back in trip.
A real slog might also revive BALLYCULLA, who has been badly out of form over fences recently. He is a through stayer and looks overpriced if enjoying the return to hurdles.
If he stays, Ruacana looks a big danger.
|Lord Of The Island (ew)||3.00 Sandown||12/1||Bet365|
|Ballyculla (ew)||3.00 Sandown||28/1||Bet365, Betfred|
Betfred Masters Handicap Chase
Finally at Sandown, the Betfred Masters Handicap Chase is worth a look, especially with the dead eight set to go to post.
That makes SANDY BEACH a very interesting each way option for Colin Tizzard. He has run well on this ground before and looked in need of a stiffer test of stamina when staying on in third at Kempton last time out. If his jumping holds up he should run well.
The other one to back is the novice, ROCK THE KASBAH, who could be well treated on his first run in a handicap over fences. He is relatively lightly raced still, but has a good wins to runs ratio and should improve further now tackling three miles for the first time in this sphere.
|Sandy Beach (ew)||3.35 Sandown||12/1||Bet365|
|Rock The Kasbah (ew)||3.35 Sandown||9/2||Bet365|
bet365 Edinburgh National Handicap Chase
Mussleburgh stages the first day of its big two day trials meeting and it has been rewarded for offering decent price money by attracting some high class performers.
From a punting angle, the Edinburgh National is the most interesting race and we think AZURE FLY is well worth another try at this marathon trip given that he has his preferred good ground. He ran well in a similar race at Plumpton recently on an unsuitably soft surface.
There are dangers everywhere and the others we like are Five In A Row, Alvarado and Dancing Shadow.
In the end, we have plumped for DANCING SHADOW as we have a feeling this trip could really suit him. He likes decent ground and finally got off the mark under rules last time out. We are hoping that confidence booster can see him go on a winning run for a trainer who knows how to handle a decent prospect.
|Azure Fly (ew)||2.05 Mussleburgh||12/1||Bet365|
|Dancing Shadow (ew)||2.05 Mussleburgh||7/1||Bet365|
bet365 Scottish County Hurdle
The best bet on the Musselburgh card (indeed the best bet of the day) could well prove to be DRUMCLIFF in the Scottish County Hurdle.
We don’t usually like picking the favourite in competitive handicaps like this, but we think Harry Fry’s horse has all of the right credentials for the trace and looks very well handicapped indeed. He was desperately unlucky at Kempton last time out and if you look back to his bumper form he beat high class novice Capitaine by five lengths on debut at Taunton. That would suggest he is thrown in here.
|Drumcliff (win)||3.15 Mussleburgh||3/1||Betfred|