The New Year got off with a double for this blog which means we continue in good form – so bad luck Paddy! That’s what I say. You hear me Paddy?
Saturday is a busy one on terrestrial TV, and so let’s get straight into it with the 1.50 at Sandown, a 2 mile handicap chase. It’s not going to be an easy afternoon, and this is a toughie to start us off. I’m no fan of MR MOLE, who has always been iffy in a finish. However, front-running Mr Mole has done little wrong, winning his last two and only going up 1lb in the process. There will be pressure for the lead from Dance Floor King, but the latter may have reached his peak now.
There’s a limited handicap chase over and extended 2m 4f at Wincanton at 2.05pm, and I’ve been keeping a close eye on VIVA STEVE for some time now. He only ran OK behind Gevrey Chambertin at Newbury last time, but the trip was probably a bit too long there and he’s been dropped 1lb. Take a look at him here each-way.
The feature Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle is at Sandown at 2.25pm, and I have been hugely impressed by L’AMI SERGE (8/15) in his two wins in the UK. Shelford should set up a good pace for the selection to charge home late.
We go back to Wincanton at 2.40pm for a handicap hurdle over 2m4f, and BLUE BUTTONS could be the answer here. She’s been off a mark of 126 for her last five starts now and is on the same rating here, but she deserves to get her head back in front and this course and distance brings out the best in her.
There’s an extended 2m handicap hurdle at Sandown at 3pm, and lots of these are in-and-out performers. A strong-pace should be guaranteed, with both Rock on Rocky and Leviathan likely to get on with things, so take a chance with AMORE ALATO, who probably has nothing in hand on ratings but who can sit in behind and pick them up late.
At 3.15pm it’s an extended 2m4f handicap chase at Wincanton, and I like top-weight REBEL REBELLION. It’s about time he won again as he hasn’t scored since December 2013. This is a great chance as he’s capable off a mark of 143 and ran well last time.
Finally it’s back to Sandown for the handicap chase at 3.35pm over an extended 3m, and in this contest have a few quid each-way on FIRM ORDER, who proved his liking for the course last time. He’s only just backable off a mark of 130, but he’s fair odds and worth chancing.
So a tricky day ahead – but tricky days mean if something goes in it will be decent odds. You hear me Paddy? Yeeehaaa!