Paul Ferguson has three selections for us today, all at Sandown. 2:25 Medermit; 3:00 Mister Hyde; 4:40 Royale’s Charter
Barring a blip at Huntgindon when he refused, high-class hurdler Medermit (2:25) has taken well to fences and the grey can win today’s feature contest at Sandown, the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase.
Alan King’s seven-year-old took a big step forward last time, when upped to this trip at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, and a reproduction of that run should be good enough, though I do have plenty of respect for Captain Chris now he’s up in distance, racing right-handed and facing decent ground.
The ground puts me off Alfie Spinner, who I had fancied for the totescoop6 Heroes Handicap Hurdle. Instead I’m siding with Mister Hyde (3:00) who won a really competitive novice hurdle at Plumpton last time, landing a bit of a gamble in the process.
The money has come for Tony McCoy’s mount again this morning and he looks reasonably treated on a mark of 128.
If Nick Williams misses out with Alfie Spinner, he can gain compensation in the final race on the card, courtesy of Royale’s Charter (4:40).
The five-year-old bumped in to a well-handicapped horse at Wincanton last time, who won under a penalty five days later, and he still looks well treated himself, despite going up 8lbs for that defeat.
His running style and his breeding suggest the step up in trip should bring about further improvement and he can get off the mark at the fourth time of asking over timber.
2:25 Sandown: Medermit
3:00 Sandown: Mister Hyde
4:40 Sandown: Royale’s Charter
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Last year’s selections included:
Hurricane Fly: 3/1 winner of the G1 Rabobank Champion Hurdle
Copper Bleu: 12/1 winner of the Jewson at Cheltenham
Great Endeavour: 18/1 winner of the Festival Plate
Tranguil Sea: 11/2 winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup
Sizing Europe: 6/1 winner of the Arkle
Weapon’s Amnesty: 10/1 winner of the RSA Chase