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Sandown preview: Dancing Shadow can waltz to success

David Metcalf | December 4, 2015

Dancing Shadow shaped with bags of promise on his seasonal reappearance, so can open his account over fences at the second time of asking in the 2m 4f novices’ handicap chase on today’s card at Sandown (14.05).

The Victor Dartnall trained gelding had some useful form to his name as a hurdler and showed a real aptitude for chasing when fourth of nine to Wizards Bridge over 3m at Exeter last month.

Dancing Shadow jumped well and raced with plenty of zest at the head off affairs before keeping on at the one pace from three out to be beaten 12 lengths.

The winner is a useful sort who has since come out and run a blinder to finish runner-up in a stronger contest, and the second home St Dominick went on to score easily by 10 lengths on his next start.

That gives the form a rock solid look and suggests that the handicapper has taken a chance in quickly dropping Dancing Shadows 2lb to a mark of 122.

The six-year-old is also entitled to strip much fitter for the outing, his first after a 203 day break, and the drop back in trip should also be in Dancing Shadow’s favour.

Spice a Fair price for punters

In the 2m handicap hurdle (15.40), Spice Fair can take advantage of what looks a handy mark to open his account over the obstacles.

The Mark Usher trained gelding is a useful stayer on the flat who showed plenty of promise in four starts over hurdles last season.

They included an excellent two-length second to Cappielow Park in a handicap at Wincanton off his current mark of 112 when arguably an unlucky loser.

Spice Fair cruised into contention from off the pace and looked all over the winner approaching the last only to make a terrible mistake that stopped him in his tracks.

The eight-year-old lost all momentum. and it was to his credit that he rallied to get so close at the line.

There is no doubt in my mind that Spice Fair would have won but for the blunder, and it was an effort which suggested he was ahead of his mark.

That view was confirmed on recent reappearance at Chepstow where Spice Fair kept on nicely under tender handling to finish third, and the booking of Wayne Hutchinson to do the steering is an eye-catching one which suggests connections mean business.

Selections

13.00: Polarisation
13.30: Paddy The Stout
14.05: Dancing Shadow (NAP)
14.40: Clondaw Cian
15.10: Silvergrove
15.40: Spice Fair (NB)

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