Chepstow Preview: Sonny The One to be on
Sonny The One makes his handicap debut in the 2m 4f hurdle contest at Chepstow today (4.10) and looks weighted to make it a winning one.
The gelding has shaped with plenty of promise in three starts over the obstacles without being unduly knocked about and looks to have been brought along steadily with handicaps in mind by trainer Colin Tizzard.
After racing keenly when finishing third at Exeter on debut over hurdles, Sonny The One caught the eye when fifth of 13 to the useful 122-rated Earthmoves in a strong novice contest at Taunton.
The five-year-old backed that up with a similar effort last time out at the same venue when staying on from off the pace to finish a never nearer 18 3/4 length third of 10 to Mister Grez under tender handling.
The victor has come out and won again since to give the form a solid look, and it was a run which suggests that Sonny The One could prove a different proposition when tackling handicaps.
If that proves to be the case then an opening mark of 111 does not look harsh, especially given Sonny The One’s unexposed and progressive profile.
Another plus is that Tizzard also does very well with his handicap debutants, and with Brendan Powell in the saddle this looks a nice opportunity for Sonny The One to get off the mark.
In the extended 2m handicap hurdle (3.05), Kassis can make the most of the weight she receives from Rouquine Sauvage to land the spoils.
The mare shaped with promise in two runs over hurdles in France before joining trainer Jamie Snowden, and ran well on debut for her new handler when fourth of 12 to the highly regarded Bidourey at Leicester.
The six-year-old was allotted an opening mark of 99 on the back of that effort, but disappointed on handicap debut when never travelling well at any stage and pulled-up at Exeter.
However, Kassis showed that run to be all wrong when putting in a much improved effort to finish third to Abundantly over 2m 2f at Plumpton last time out.
The daughter of Kalanisi raced with far more enthusiasm and pressed the winner throughout before weakening in the final 150 yards to be beaten just 1 3/4 lengths.
It was an effort which suggested Kassis should be up to winning races off her current mark of 96, and she now meets the winner on 2lb better terms.
With the drop back in trip looking sure to suit, that may well be enough for Kassis to turn the tables.
2.30: The Eaglehaslanded
3.05: Kassis (NB)
3.35: No Through Road
4.10: Sonny The One (NAP)
4.40: Rock N Rhythm
5.15: Marie Des Anges