Jack Milner of BetVictor.com searches out the value on the bank Holiday cards
The National Hunt season signed off in tremendous fashion at Sandown, with Altior completing a double for Nicky Henderson to seal the NH Trainers’ Title. He remains the most exciting horse in training, and is 7/4 with BetVIctor for next year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. A horse that won’t be seen at next year’s festival is Menorah, who won the Oaksey Chase for a fourth successive year under Champion Jockey Richard Johnson and was immediately retired by his emotional connections.
His win capped-off a wonderful season for Philip Hobbs’ team, who look sure to have plenty of runners over the summer and should score with Sternrubin (4.55) down at Windsor. The selection is normally found contesting some of the most competitive 2m Handicap Hurdle but showed promise on his three runs on the level and looks potentially well-treated for the mile and a half handicap from a mark of 77.
It was likewise a milestone week in the career of flat pilot Robert Tart, who steered Cunco to victory in the Classic Trial at Sandown. The son of Frankel is 33/1 with BetVictor for next month’s Derby at Epsom but the win was perhaps more pivotal for the jockey, more so than animal, with Tart struggling since losing his claim last term, but now thriving under John Gosden’s tutelage at Clarehaven House.
The pair combine with Damocles (3.10) in the Maiden over an extended mile and looks well-placed to shed the maiden tag at the second time of asking. The selection shaped with considerable promise on his debut in last month’s Wood Ditton at Newmarket and is entitled to improve for an in-form yard.
Tart partners Godolphin’s Team Meeting (5.30) in the closing sprint handicap and really ought to out-class his 13 rivals accordingly. The well-bred colt was third on his seasonal reappearance at Lingfield over 6f. but market support suggests the son of Exceed and Excel is much better than a 70-rated handicapper and he should bounce back dropping back to the minimum trip.
I’m keen to take a chance on Kevin Ryan’s Fine Example (3.40) getting across from a horror draw in stall 15 in the 7f Handicap at Beverely. The selection likes to race prominently, narrowly denied making all last week at Catterick, and can hopefully go one better under talented 3lb apprentice Lewis Edmunds.
The feature handicap over a mile and a quarter looks an open affair, with another front-runner chanced to thrive at the East Yorkshire venue and Mariee (4.15) likely to go well under Joe Fanning. Mark Johnston’s filly won twice on the all-weather during the winter and, despite disappointing when a beaten favourite last time out, is chanced to bounce back at a track where they yard have such a good record.
Detachment (4.50) has impressed on both starts for trainer Les Eyre since joining the yard from France and must go close front from an inviting mark of 77. The son of Motivator made an eye-catching debut for the yard when finishing second at Lingfield over a mile and after failing to stay ten furlongs last time out at Newcastle, is chanced to bounce back dropping back in trip.
The NH season may have ended on Saturday, but the 2017/2018 season kicks-off with cards at Warwick and Kempton respectively, with a cracking 3m Handicap Chase at the latter and Roc D’Apsis (3.30) well-treated for the in-form yard of Tom George. The selection has dropped to 2lb below his last winning mark, when scoring here at the track last season, and has conditions to suit to score under Adrian Heskin.
A field of five go to post for the feature £20,000 Handicap Chase and Meldrum Lad (5.15) unopposable under a penalty. The selection completed a quick-fire hat-trick when bolting-up last week at Wincanton and looks a potentially smart chaser for the Seamus Durack yard.
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