Sandown Gold Cup betting and odds
Sandown Gold Cup betting preview
Sandown Park says farewell to the National Hunt season with the Bet365 Gold Cup Chase taking centre stage on Saturday. A field of 25 runners will head to post for the race over 3 miles and 5 furlongs but Nigel Twiston-Davies looks to hold a strong hand with Foxhunters’ Chase winner Baby Run the solid favourite on the early tissue.
Sandown Gold Cup latest odds:
Sam Twiston-Davies’ will ride the 11-year-old gelding replacing his brother, Willie on the French-bred horse. Willie had partnered Baby Run on his four previous starts – winning three of those and falling at the Cheltenham Festival when in command 2 out. However, Sam takes the plum ride on the 11/2 favourite and his charge looks good value at the head of the market. He goes on the softer ground and his victory at the Grand National meeting at Aintree capped off an impressive season where he has also tasted Chase success at Wetherby and Haydock. The only negative is that he is unraced beyond 3 miles and 4 furlongs but the extra furlong here shouldn’t inconvenience him a great deal.
Next in the market is Balthazar King for Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson. He landed a Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham earlier this month to compliment his easy win at Hereford in a similar event on his penultimate start. This though is his toughest assignment to date and despite running well in defeat at the back end of 2010, he has yet to come up against any real classy opponents this year. He has had two recent runs and that could either for and against him but he looks the stables first string at 13/2. Triggerman (12/1) is Hobbs’ other runner but Dickie Johnson prefers Balthazar King.
Aimigayle is an interest runner for Suzy Smith’s yard after being pulled up on his reappearance after 18 months off at Sandown on his penultimate outing. He was turned out quickly for the Cheltenham Festival and ran a massive race at 25/1 behind Holmewood Legend in the Byrne Group Plate. On that evidence, Colin Bolger’s mount should go well but the mare might be best watched after so long on the sidelines. Meanus Dandy (12/1) could come in for significant support for Paul Nicholls who won this race in 2001 and 2003 with Ad Hoc. Ruby Walsh saddles the 8-year-old gelding – a previous course winner and impressive at Wincanton three starts back in a competitive listed event.
Ferdy Murphy’s Poker De Sivola won the Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival but has struggled to find his form this season. Unseated in the Scottish National at Ayr last week and a distant sixth in the Cross Country at the festival have failed to suggest he could win an event like this. He has stayed 4 miles before though and is currently 14/1. At the same price is Alan King’s representative West End Rocker who can count himself a little unlucky after being brought down at becher’s brook in the Grand National when travelling fluently. This 9-year-old won a valuable chase at Warwick in January and could run a big race at an each way price.
Last year’s winner Church Island goes for glory again for Michael Hourigan but he hasn’t won since his success last April. At 20/1 his recent form has not pulled up any trees and he looks an unlikely winner this time. At bigger prices, Faasel (25/1) could sneak in to the money on his distant second to Junior in the Kim Muir and Iconoclast (25/1) could make the places after winning his last two – albeit weaker races.
It promises to be a fascinating spectacle and the meeting will also witness the finest flat horses as the card combines flat and jump racing. Richard Hannon’s Dick Turpin contests the Bet365 Mile (the next race on the card) and the action continues on Sunday with the Class 1 Classic Trial the highlight of day two of the meeting.
By Mikey Mumford
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