This weekend is the calm before the storm, as next week we head to Prestbury Park for the Cheltenham festival and the most eagerly anticipated weeks racing of the entire year. Of course, the majority of the stars of national hunt racing will be gathered there next week, however there is still a decent card at Sandown today so let's see if we can build up the coffers a little ready for next week.
15:10 Imperial Cup
Affaire D'Honneur is a lightly raced five year old that looks to have a bright future in front of him. He was second in a good handicap hurdle on his debut in this country before running a good race in the Betfair hurdle after having a disastrous start. He gave away several lengths at the start and because of this was never really able to get into the race. However, he finished extremely strongly to take a very creditable fourth place given the start he had, and assuming he is able to get away properly today, I think he has a great chance of taking this wide open race from just one pound higher in the ratings.
15:45 NH Flat Race
I am going for a Harry Whittington double as he saddles the four year old Woolstone One in this two mile bumper. She has won both races so far over twelve furlongs and the extra half a mile is almost certain to be perfect for her at this stage of her career. A four year old won this race last year and the age for weight allowance of eight pounds that she receives could prove the difference when we get to the business end of proceedings. With Nico De Boinville taking the ride this time I expect him to keep her handy throughout and will hopefully have the legs at the finish to get her nose in front.
Copper Kay for Philip Hobbs with Richard Johnson on board is a serious danger. She has won three out of her four starts to date including a Listed bumper at Cheltenham last time out. She does have to carry an extra four pounds because of that win and I am hoping that she will struggle to give a full twelve pounds to the selection here today. I also think that she would prefer the ground to be a little bit more on the firmer side of things so may struggle to get through the conditions here carrying top weight.
Sandown 15:10 - Affaire D'Honneur - 1 point @ 4/1 (Most firms)
Sandown - 15:45 Woolstone One - 1 point @ 7/1 (Betvictor)