ITV Racing Tips: Three Sandown selections to improve for better ground

Our best bets at Sandown will find improvement for the expected good ground

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1 month ago

ITV Racing includes four races from Jumps Finale Day at Sandown, alongside one from Leicester and another from Haydock on its six-race Saturday broadcast. Our attentions are firmly focused on the quality national hunt fair on offer at the Esher circuit.

Good ground is forecast for the card which traditionally brings down the curtain on the jumps campaign and our trio of best bets should welcome the sounder surface.

ITV Racing Tips – Saturday April 27th

1.50 Sandown – Fire Flyer to win (each-way) @ 12/1

2.25 Sandown – Ga Law to win @ 6/1

3.35 Sandown – Minella Cocooner to win (each-way) @ 8/1

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It could pay to follow jockey bookings with less fancied of Ditcheat duo

Paul Nicholls will likely have at least a couple of hundred thousand pounds to find on Saturday if he is to overhaul Dan Skelton and Willie Mullins to retain the British Jumps Trainers Championship. Sandown’s opening handicap hurdle, worth £51,440 to the winner, is a good place to start.

He saddles Panjari and FIRE FLYER in the 1.50 and, while the first named has been trading at the shorter odds, the latter could be the one to be on if stable number one and champion-jockey-elect Harry Cobden knows his onions.

Conditional rider Freddie Gingell claims 5lbs off Panjari, who has some good form close behind Imperial Cup winner Go Dante to his name this term. That suggests the yard think the selection must be better handicapped.

A dislike for going described as ‘heavy, soft in places’ was the excuse offered when Fire Flyer was pulled up in the 2m 4f EBF Final at this track last time out. A return to better ground and a shorter trip should see him right back in the reckoning. He’d won both his preceding outings, one on good-to-soft (1m7f), and one on good (2m3f).

Tip: 1.50 Sandown – Fire Flyer to win (each-way) @ 9/1

Snowden chaser most likely to bounce back in race short of form horses

At the time of writing, three of the first four horses in the betting for the Grade 2 Oaksey Chase have the letter P as their most recent form figure, while the fourth, Paul Nicholls’ Hitman finished a distant eighth.

The quartet, which also include The Real Whacker (pulled up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup), Easy Game and GA LAW (both of whom failed to complete the course in the Ryanair Chase at the Festival) represent the Group horses in a field filled out by handicappers.

It’s highly unlikely that all four of the horses named fail to fire at Sandown and whichever of them finds their way back to form is likely to prove too good for Al Dancer, Straw Fan Jack and Fantastic Lady. Of the foursome, Jamie Snowden’s Ga Law looks most likely to bounce back.

Why? The eight-year-old’s career form figures under rules on soft or heavy going reads 6-3-5-6-PU, where as his record on the expected good ground or better reads 1-1-2-1-F-1.

Tip: 2.25 Sandown – Ga Law to win @ 6/1

Good ground can help Irish National bronze medallist claim staying prize

Willie Mullins has all but sewn up the British Jumps Trainers Championship with big money wins in the English and Scottish Grand Nationals and he can seal the deal by landing the bet365 Gold Cup.

The Closutton maestro has Nick Rockett (15/2), MINELLA COCOONER (8/1) and Aime Desjy (33/1) entered, but it’s the second named who appeals most.

Third in the Irish Grand National over 3m 5f on heavy ground last time out he’s certain to stay this test over an extended 3m 4f and his form as a staying novice hurdler suggests he could improve again for the good ground he’s likely to encounter in this race.

Two seasons ago the eight-year-old won the Grade 1 Nathaniel Lacey at the Dublin Racing Festival on yielding going, before silver medals on ‘good’ behind stablemate The Nice Guy in the top-flight Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown equivalent.

Tip: 3.35 Sandown – Minella Cocooner to win (each-way) @ 9/1