Final Nudge to flourish in high-class field at Sandown
Sandown card looks entertaining
There’s a cracking day of action in store across the UK and Ireland this weekend.
There will be huge attention placed on Ireland with the Dublin Racing Festival taking place at Leopardstown on Saturday and Sunday.
But there are also some nice renewals from Sandown, Wetherby and Musselburgh too.
The ITV crew will be parked up at Sandown mostly and that’s where this column begins.
Bet of the Day
The Masters Handicap Chase looks a bit of a pearler with a high-quality field for this 3m renewal.
Final Nudge currently heads the betting with the likes of Ballydine, Cogry, Sametegal and Yala Enki also involved.
However, it’s the first of those names who the Coral News Team like for this intriguing race. David Dennis’s nine-year-old has been in solid form in recent months.
He ran excellently to finish third in the Coral Welsh Grand National and was a decent second on his seasonal reappearance at Wincanton in November.
He was beaten on both those occasions fading in the last stretch so the drop back in trip should suit him here. Final Nudge is our Bet of the Day.
Lay-up for Buveur D’Air
Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air tunes up for his Cheltenham defence with what looks like a straightforward go at the Contenders’ Hurdle.
Nicky Henderson’s nine-year-old star faces just two rivals in John Constable and Cap’N. The French raider has won eight of his nine runs over hurdles and should handily win here barring a disaster.
Barry Geraghty takes the mount despite far bigger races across the pond at Leopardstown. The Champion jockey will be keen on taking him on again in March.
This should be a nice, easy run ahead of Cheltenham and eyes will be peeled to see if he can stay injury free.
Terrefort can take the jump
With Fountains Windfall’s non-declaration, Terrefort is now in pole position in the betting ahead of the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase.
It was due to be a cracker of a duel between the pair but connections of the former have decided against Sandown.
Instead, Nicky Henderson’s new charge gets a chance to add to his super win at Huntingdon last month. This will be the five-year-old’s first step up to Grade One company but Henderson feel’s he fell able for it.
It’ll certainly be a test in a small field including Cyrname and Kalondra but he’ll take all the beating.
ITV Racing Tips:
1:50 Sandown – Buveur D’Air
2:05 Musselburgh – Sir Chauvelin
2:25 Sandown – Terrefort
2:40 Wetherby – Ami Desbois
3:00 Sandown – Melrose Boy
3:15 Musselburgh – Southfield Theatre e/w
3:35 Sandown – Final Nudge