Saturday Horse Racing Preview & Tips – 13th March– Seymour Biz

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Find all previous Seymour Biz racing previews in his weekly column: Saturday Horse Racing Tips.

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As to be expected, it’s a very quiet weekend on ITV prior to the Cheltenham Festival, which starts on Tuesday. The television channel has scheduled four National Hunt races from Sandown and three Flat races on the all-weather from Wolverhampton. They have inexplicably ignored NH meetings at both Ayr and Hereford.

So, we are left with some pretty meagre fare in the run-up to racing’s biggest week of the year and here are my thoughts for this week’s best value in the four televised races from Sandown for this week’s Lucky Fifteen.

Sandown Saturday Lucky Fifteen
1.50 Martinhal
2.25 Marie’s Rock
3.00 Marshmallo
3.35 Marown
Bet this lucky 15 now on Bet365

Sandown’s 1.50 is the European Breeders Fund Paddy Power ‘National Hunt’ Novices Handicap Hurdle over 2m 4f. Top weight and one of the favourites is Chris Gordon’s Annual Invictus, who is already a triple winner this season. His latest run was in Graded company and he was not disgraced when finishing fourth out of 23 runners in a Newbury contest and was running on at the end but he has lots of weight over an extra 4 furlongs.

Nicky Henderson’s Patroclus has been very consistent this season, winning his last two outings latterly at Doncaster where he was challenged over the last three hurdles but was always able to pull out that bit more.

The same trainer also has Captain Morgs entered but he has a habit of running second and was easily beaten by Emma Lavelle’s Shang Tang last time out. That race was at Fakenham last month and while the manner of Shang Tang’s victory entitles him to step up in class, he may find a couple of these too good for him.

One of those could be David Pipe’s Martinhal who has had two victories to his credit since the start of the year seeing off a couple of the opponents he will face here in the process. These are Karl Phillipe and Gladiateur Allen. I fully expect him to confirm those placings and take this.

At 2.25, we have the big race of the day, the Paddy Power Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle over 2 miles. Paul Nicholls has a really strong hand here with four contenders, including the 2019 winner Malaya but she has been disappointing, having not won since.

The best of the Nicholls runners is probably top weight Miranda who won a Graded contest at Doncaster in January coming home comfortably, but the rise in weight may be a problem for her here.

The third horse that day was Nicky Henderson’s Marie’s Rock who was unbeatable last season. This year, she was badly hampered the first time out so that race can be discounted, then she was giving Miranda 2lbs in the Doncaster race. Here, she is 8lb better off and a 10lb swing is hard to ignore.

Natural History from Gary Moore’s yard won by 15 lengths at Plumpton at the beginning of this month after finishing second twice but I can’t help feeling this step up in class may find him out.

David Pipe’s Eamon An Cnoic has shown some decent form in his last three races but this is out of his class. So, I return to Marie’s Rock and I feel Henderson’s mare can prove the answer here.

The BritishStallion Studs EBF Mares Standard Open NH Flat Race is at 3.00 and most of the protagonists have some fair bits of form to their name and while it will be easy to make a case for any of them, it will be difficult to pick the winner.

Paul Nicholls’s Rainyday Woman is top weight and the bookies choice after her two easy victories this season at Stratford and Huntingdon latterly in a Listed contest but she may not find her preferred soft ground here and can be taken on.

Precious from Anthony Honeyball’s yard has won her only start this season at Plumpton in December but she is another untried on good going.

Alan King’s Finest View is one who will be suited by good going but this is a huge step up in class. The same can be said for Nicky Henderson’s Tweed Skirt. It could be a similar case for Henry Daly’s Marshmallo except for the marked improvement she has shown in her two runs.

Last November she looked very green but was a different horse when coming out at the end of January at Doncaster and putting a good field to the sword, coming home by two lengths. She meets some of those here but will have come on from that and can take this at a nice price.

Finally, at 3.35 we have the Paddy Reward’s Club Novices Handicap Chase, a Listed contest over 2m 4f. No Getaway for Dan Skelton is the bookmakers’ choice in this after his win here at Sandown in February but he won’t get his preferred soft going here.

The next best is Lucy Wadham’s Admiral Barratry whose last two runs have been at Fakenham, producing one victory but he steps up markedly in class. That is also the case for Gary Moore’s High Up In The Air but he has won his last five races, including one here at Sandown. However, the step-up in class may be a problem.

The top weight is Paul Nicholls’s Stratagem who was a fine winner at Doncaster in January. He will be suited by the going but I feel he has too much weight. I like the look of Nicky Richards’s Marown who has done most of his winning up at Ayr. He misses that meeting to come here to tackle this. His latest run was at Haydock where he ran a good second. He can improve on that and go one better to take this.

Sandown Saturday Lucky Fifteen
1.50 Martinhal
2.25 Marie’s Rock
3.00 Marshmallo
3.35 Marown
Bet this lucky 15 now on Bet365

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