Seymour Biz looks ahead to Saturday’s meetings and casts an approving eye over Theatrical Star, in the Veterans Handicap.
With the rescheduling of The Welsh Grand National at Chepstow, a pretty ordinary weekends racing has been turned into a much more exciting one. We also have action from the popular Sandown course and a good country meeting from Wincanton. I will try once again to look at value from the betting looking at the TV races – the going at all the meetings will be particularly heavy, so those at the bottom of the handicaps will have an extra advantage. It may pay to concentrate on the lower weights this weekend.
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The Chepstow 2.05 is the rescheduled Welsh Grand National and when I looked at this race before Christmas I was very keen on Vincente, but I now feel with the weight he has been given he will struggle in the Welsh mud. I still like the look of Beware The Bear, but Nicky Henderson’s charge has a 4lb penalty for his latest victory at Newcastle. I will look elsewhere for value, and my eye lands upon Pobbles Bay. Evan Williams’ horse is a proven mud lover who much prefers to run over longer distances. His run last time at Aintree was only 2 miles 4 furlongs and he runs like he needs over 3 miles so is the selection.
Over at Sandown, the 3.00 is the 32Red Veterans Handicap Chase. This is a very open contest for these 11 year olds plus, with Gas Line Boy heading the market after his victory at Aintree. I will however look further down the weights to Colin Tizzards Theatrical Star, who ran third here at Sandown in early December behind Pete The Feat. He never got over a bad mistake at the 15th when with the leaders, so can make up for that by winning this time around. Fox Appeal could also run a good race after his second at Leicester last time and could be the one to chase the selection home.
The 3.35 is the 32Red.com Handicap Hurdle, a very open handicap where I like Drops Of Jupiter. Anthony Honeyball’s inmate won well at Exeter just before Christmas and looks primed for this, but he is also engaged at 3.45 at Wincanton and 12.45 here at Sandown (this horse should be respected wherever his shrewd trainer places him. Our Merlin would be suitable substitute in the event of my pick going elsewhere. He has won his last three small handicaps, steps up in class here after his latest victory at Taunton and appears to go well on soft and heavy going.
At Wincanton, the 3.45 is the S Markets Handicap Hurdle, where one of the best bets of the day is Edvardo, trained by Richard Wollacott. He ran second last time at Exeter, behind Padleyourowncanoe, where he raced keenly early on (he then led turning in but then had to be ridden and tired beaten 3/4 length). If he doesn’t run so freely, early on, he can win his first race this side of the Irish Sea. Also on the card here is Sandy Beach, running for the first time this season. He pulled up at Sandown, in a £30,000 encounter last February, on his last outing. Sandy Beach did win first time out last year so has a chance on Saturday. Wincanton is Colin Tizzard’s local course and he does well here. I will however stick with Edvardo, with Sandy Beach to chase the selection home.
Saturday Lucky 15
2.05. Chepstow Pobbles Bay
3.00. Sandown Theatrical Star
3.35. Sandown Drops Of Jupiter
3.45. Wincanton Edvardo
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