SANDOWN – APRIL 29
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2016: £24.00 (6 favourites – 2 winners – 2 placed – 2 unplaced)
Saturday's Placepot permutation at Sandown:
Leg 1 (1.50): 3 (Dolos), 9 (Gregarious) & 1 (Call Me Lord)
Leg 2 (2.25): 2 (Menorah) & 1 (Josses Hill)
Leg 3 (3.00): 1 (Altior) & 3 (Special Tiara)
Leg 4 (3.35): 12 (Doing Fine), 9 (Whats Happening), 6 (Present Man) & 8 (Vyta Du Roc)
Leg 5 (4.10): 2 (Ptit Zig), 3 (The New One) & 6 (Beat That)
Leg 6 (4.45): 5 (Plasir D’Amour), 3 (Shantou Village) & 1 (Royal Vacation)
Suggested stake: 432 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Saturday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
1.50: Without wishing to sound negative on a wonderful card, I think it’s best to keep your stakes low (still having plenty of fun), given the fact that Nicky Henderson (16 runners) and Paul Nicholls (13) boasts 41% of the total number of runners at the track. We know the reason why but it does rather put a ‘defensive’ edge to wagers is you follow my viewpoint. By all means enjoy the day but the attitude has to be ‘be aware just as much as be lucky’. Paul Nicholls has saddled a gold and three bronze medallists via just five renewals of this opening event to date, with DOLOS representing the Ditcheat based yard this time around. Paul has not enjoyed the best of results at this venue during the last few season by his high standards, though DOLOS could add further interest to proceedings today if Stan Sheppard calls on all three pounds of his allowance to winning effect. The progressive GREGARIOUS has to be of interest in receipt of weight, especially with jockeys suggesting on Friday that Sandown had “over watered” the track. Nicky will be trying to thwart Paul with CALL ME LORD in heat one of their personal duo.
Favourite factor: Three of the five market leaders have finished in the frame to date, statistics which include the one successful (5/1) market leader thus far.
Record of the course winner in the opening event:
2/2—Gregarious (2 x soft)
2.25: Defending treble champion MENORAH has been declared to attempt to complete a fourth consecutive victory in the race which would pay tribute to his marvellous form down the years. Not quick enough to remain at two miles for long, Menorah failed to stay three at the highest level either but this trip has proved just right for the old boy and another emotional winner could be on the cards at Sandown today. JOSSES HILL would have to be considered a great danger if fencing at his best but those tricky railway fences down the far side could have been designed with Nicky’s chaser in mind, such is the way that that they have caught out many a decent chaser down the years. Traffic Fluide looks booked for third spot if Josses Hill completes the race from my viewpoint. Gary Moore’s raider has plenty of ability but a lack of consistency has frustrated supporters on many an occasion.
Favourite factor: Two of the three favourites thus far have gained Placepot positions (one winner), commemorating the great name of John Lawrence, or Lord Oaksey as he was better known in ‘recent’ years.
Record of the course winners in the second contest:
3/3—Menorah (2 x good & good to soft)
1/6—Vibrato Valtat (soft)
1/1—Traffic Fluide (good)
3.00: Eight-year-olds have won five of the last nine renewals though lone representative Vaniteux looks to have plenty to do here with his stable companion ALTIOR having been declared. Dear old Sprinter Scare scored for the yard last year and Nicky would be just as emotional this time around if his heir to the Champion Chase crown scored twelve months on. There seems little reason to doubt the course and distance winner, though SPECIAL TIARA will be ridden with just one thing in mind, the team doing everything they can to bring about the downfall of Nicky’s highly talented chaser.
Favourite factor: All 15 winners have scored at 9/1 or less to date, whilst ten market leaders have reached the frame, statistics which include four winners.
Record of the course winners in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase:
1/1—Altior (good to soft)
1/3—Special Tiara (good)
1/2—Vaniteux (good to soft)
3.35: I was at Sandown in 1970 to watch Richard Pitman boot home Royal Toss in what was known as the 'Whitbread' for many years and the main reason for offering you that insight into my ‘dodgy upbringing’ was that Royal Toss was the first of 14 eight-year-old winners in ‘recent’ times. If we add the 12 victories from nine-year-olds, we can quickly deduce that these vintages have accounted for 26/47 victories or if you prefer, 55.3% of the contests down the (relevant) years. 30 of the last 35 winners (85.7%) have carried a maximum burden of 11-2. Eight-year-olds have won five of the last 13 contests and putting the stats and facts together produces a speculative short list of DOING FINE, VYTA DU ROC and PRESENT MAN. The latter named pair represent the ‘battling duo’ on the day. A ‘lurker’ lies in wait down towards the bottom of the handicap in WHATS HAPPENING however. You have been warned!
Favourite factor: Nine of the last 26 market leaders have claimed toteplacepot positions (one winner) during the more recent study period, whilst nine of the last 18 winners scored at odds of 14/1 or more.
Record of the course winners in the fourth contest on the card:
1/3—Just A Par (good)
1/1—The Young Master (good)
3/9—Le Reve (2 x good to soft & soft)
1/1—Vyta Du Roc (soft)
4.10: PTIT ZIG returns to defend his crown though the Nicholls raider has a far better strike rate (5/10) over the larger obstacles that he has over hurdles (5/20). That said, the eight-year-old (seems to have been around for ever) still has petrol left in the tank for this kind of assignment, especially with THE NEW ONE actually struggling to win these days, despite running as well as one could expect for a horse which has only ever taken in ‘big races’ in general terms. Over 70 months have slipped by since BEAT THAT was seen on a racecourse and though I love ‘tilting at windmills’ every now and then, Nicky’s talented nine-year-old couldn’t win this after such a long lay off – could he?
Favourite factor: All three favourites have obliged to date at 9/4 (Nicky Henderson) and 15/8 & 7/4 (Paul Nicholls).
Record of the course winners in the fifth race:
2/2--Ptit Zig (2 x good)
1/1—L’Ami Serge (soft)
4.45: Venetia Williams saddles just one runner on the final day of the NH season whereby her five-year-old raider PLAISIR D’AMOUR gets the vote, having won three of her last four races in the style of a progressive horse. SHANTOU VILLAGE is also improving at a rate of knots which seems to be troubling the handicapper, whilst Colin Tizzard has thrown a spanner in the works in many of these chase events this season and ROYAL VACATION could be the latest tool to emerge from the box.
Favourite factor: The toteplacepot finale rightly remembers the name of Josh Gifford. Goodness knows what he and Terry Biddlecombe are up to as we wrap up the 2015/2016 NH season! The entire racing world is that much poorer for the passing of two great names from the past, notwithstanding John Lawrence who (in Lord Oaksey's previous guise) who is probably trying to bring the pair to order right now! For the record, all three favourites thus far have missed out on Placepot positions.
Record of the course winners in the Placepot finale:
2/5—As De Mee (good to soft & soft)
1/1—Poker School (good)
1/1—Brother Tedd (good to soft)
1/3—Dark Flame (good)
All place details offered on my pages relate to an 'exact science', whereby horses that finish third in 5/6/7 runner races (and other such scenarios) are not 'placed' regarding my statistics.
Trainers with their relevant number of runners on the Sandown card on Saturday – followed by their ratios at the track this season + profits/losses accrued:
16 runners—Nicky Henderson (8/26 – Profit of 23 points)
13—Paul Nicholls (3/28 – loss of 9 points)
5—Neil Mulholland (1/7 – Profit of 3 points)
5—Colin Tizzard (1/9 – loss of 6 points)
4—Philip Hobbs (2/15 – loss of 10 points)
3—Nigel Twiston-Davies (2/11 – Profit of 21 points)
2—Peter Bowen (No runners)
2—Emma Lavelle (0/6)
2—Charlie Longsdon (2/13 – Profit of 11 points)
2—Seamus Mullins (0/3)
2—Lucy Wadham (3/4 – Profit of 14 points)
+ 15 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
71 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Doncaster: £51.40 – 7 favourites – No winners – 5 placed – 2 unplaced
Haydock: £118.90 – 7 favourites – 4 winners & 3 unplaced
Leicester: £247.30 – 7 favourites – 2 winners – 2 placed – 3 unplaced
Ripon: £504.70 – 8 favourites – 2 winners – 1 placed – 5 unplaced