Soft ground at Sandown for today’s seven-race card and Lucinda Russell brings a couple down from Scotland. The mare Haute Estime steps up to Grade 2 company having won a listed race at Haydock last time but of more interest perhaps is Douglas Talking (1.50) who is penalised 7lbs for scoring at Musselburgh earlier in the month.
The selection – 15/8 with MansionBet – certainly looks like a chaser and jumped well on what was his chase debut last time, but that was over an additional half a mile and I am slightly surprised that connections are dropping back in distance. His Bumper win came over 2m 2f on decent ground, but he should get a decent test at the trip with Darebin – if Derek Fox does not want to make it himself – likely to take them along at a decent clip.
Speech Bubble (2.20) got off the mark at the second attempt at Newbury last time and she can take the step up in class to Grade 2 company in her class. The selection – 4s with William Hill – receives 3lbs from likely market leader Nina The Terrier who really should have won at Haydock last time when Gavin Sheehan gave his mount too much to do.
Sheehan rides Speech Bubble this afternoon so should know where he stands with Nina The Terrier who represents the inform Alan King yard. Nina The Terrier should comfortable reverse previous Haydock running with Haute Estime on the revised terms. Both Speech Bubble and Nina The Terrier hold entries in the mares’ novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham next month.
Only four go to post for the Royal Artillery Gold Cup and only one of the jockey’s Major Charlie O’Shea – who is on board Rolling Dylan – has ridden a winner under rules. Rolling Dylan used to enjoy soft ground but he ran a stinker at Sandown last time – albeit in a much tougher race.
Hogan’s Height was the second British trained horse home in the Grand National last spring and showed his well being when scoring at Ludlow last time. He looks the one to beat but Diplomate Sivola (2.55) is a couple of years younger than his three rivals and he might have a bit more improvement in him.
The selection – 4/1 from 5s with 10Bet – has been running well enough between the flags and he won a novice hunter chase on soft ground a couple of years ago. He has been ridden by today’s amateur jockey in his last six runs and he is taken to cause a bit of a shock.
In The opener at Leicester I will be disappointed if Radetzky March (1.35) cannot defy a 7lbs rise for scoring at Fakenham last week. Laura Morgan’s 7-y-old apprdciated the step up in trip to two-and-half miles for the first time and he is 3lbs well in having been raised 10lbs for that success. The opening 6/4 looked attractive although he is a best price of 5/4 with Boylesports at the time of posting.