WE WAVE goodbye to what has been a fantastic National Hunt season tomorrow with the ever popular bet365 Gold Cup Day at Sandown Park. This is always a fiercely contested card with connections out to land the last few big pots of the season and this year is no different.
There are some smart horses from both codes in action and none more so than in the feature at 3.50pm, the bet365 Gold Cup Chase. The final declarations aren’t out until later today which does make things a little bit tricky as we can’t tell who will stay in and who will give the 3m 5 ½f contest a miss.
But one horse I do like at this stage is MR MOSS. This eight-year-old caught the eye last time out at Doncaster, running a stormer to finish second in a hot handicap. Evan Williams’ contender wants good ground and he was taken out of a tilt at last week’s Scottish National on account of the heavy surface.
Tomorrow’s conditions will suit and he has the look of an unexposed, well-handicapped horse who should go well off a nice racing weight.
He looks a knocking each-way bet at 14/1 with Coral, particularly when you consider he’s only been out of the frame once on his last six starts.
SANCTUAIRE is a classy two-mile chaser in his own right but has been no match for the incredible Sprinter Sacre in three of his four runs this season.
Thankfully for connections the Black Aeroplane is absent tomorrow in the Celebration Chase (2.40pm) and Paul Nicholls’ charge can follow up his brilliant win in this race last term.
The seven-year-old bolted up by 17 lengths that day with a trailblazing effort from the front. That was his second win at this track and he obviously goes well in spring.
A repeat of anything like that performance will make him hard to beat. The one concern would be if he and Overturn take each other on in the lead but Sanctuaire can stalk Donald McCain’s gelding and pounce late on.
Later on the card, NICHOLS CANYON (4.25pm) will take all the beating. The John Gosden yard has started to fire and the son of Authorised will appreciate this step up in trip having got off the mark when last seen over slightly shorter.
That race has already thrown up plenty of winners and the fact the colt has a Derby entry means the stable rate him highly. Several of his opponents have been running well on the all-weather but this is a different kettle of fish switched to turf and Dashing Star is probably the one to fear the most.
Finally, INTRIGO ran into a smart horse in Bright Strike earlier in the week at Lingfield but lost nothing in defeat and can resume winning ways at Leicester (2.10pm). Richard Hannon’s horse won his maiden by four lengths over course and distance last year and can maintain his form at the Midlands track with another win.
INTRIGO 2.10pm Leicester (tomorrow)
SANCTUAIRE 2.40pm Sandown (tomorrow)
MR MOSS e/w 3.50pm Sandown (tomorrow)
NICHOLS CANYON 4.25pm Sandown (tomorrow)