14:25 Sandown – Tolworth Hurdle
Saturday’s feature is a fascinating renewal of the Tolworth Hurdle with a number of potential hurdling stars set to battle it out over 2miles. The powerful connections of Rathhill have every right to be excited after their 6yo accounted for a smart field last time out on his hurdling and national hunt debut.
Owner JP McManus and trainer Nicky Henderson will undoubtedly be looking towards bigger and better things with success here, but the lack of experience for a significant step up in class has to be a worry for the juggernaut yard.
The Paul Nicholls yard are on form at the minute so Southfield Stone looks an utterly fascinating each way contender given he has both the experience and an unbeaten record in three starts on the track. He looks the pick of the Nicholls pair with the consistent Grand Sancy his other runner, but he would need a huge career best here.
The stand out form stands with second season hurdler Elixir De Nutz. The Colin Tizzard trained 5yo put a disastrous juvenile campaign well behind him when following home the smart Thomas Darby at Cheltenham after a layoff.
He then confirmed his potential by accounting two well touted types back at Cheltenham in the Supreme Novices Trial, but it is his latest outing which makes him the standout pick in this field.
The Tizzard horse comfortably accounted for the Fergal O’Brien trained Jarveys Plate last time out at Cheltenham by a length and three quarters and the form looks rock solid now given that rival has since came out and hacked up to beat a smart field by 13 lengths. Solid form and the clear selection.
Of the other runners, the aforementioned O’Brien yard have Mercy Mercy Me in the Macolm Denmark colours and while open to improvement does look up against it here on the ratings, so maybe one for handicaps further down the line. Idee De Garde completes the line up for the Dan Skelton yard, but he is the lowest rated of the sextet and will likely benefit from the experience.
ELIXIR DE NUTZ (WIN) – NAP
Sandown Park 13.50 – Laurina (WIN)
Wincanton 14.05 – Kupatana (WIN)
Sandown Park 14.25 – Elixir De Nutz (WIN) – NAP
Wincanton 14.40 – Magoo (E/W)
Sandown Park 15.00 – Rathlin Rose (E/W)
Wincanton 15.15 – Value At Risk (E/W)
Sandown Park 15.35 – Demopolis (WIN)