Great Britain Preview: Spot plays for Sandown
After the hectic Christmas-New Year period, it’s a quiet week with jumps racing in Britain.
However, there’s a decent day of racing at Sandown, featuring a Grade 1 novice hurdle, a Listed race for mares, and a rich handicap for older jumpers. Here are some plays for those races.
Race 2, 7:40 a.m. ET: Sandown Mares’ Hurdle (Listed), 2 1/2 miles, 4-year-old and up fillies and mares
Just five runners here, and one stands above them all. #2 Love Envoi beat the Irish to win the Mares’ Novices' Hurdle (G2) at Cheltenham last year, and started the season giving 14 pounds away when winning at this track Dec. 3. There are some mares in decent form here, including #1 Martello Sky, #4 Branson Missouri, and #5 Fautinette, but Love Envoi should be too good.
Race 5, 9:25 a.m. ET: Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle (G1), 2 miles, novice hurdlers
This is the race where Constitution Hill won his first Grade 1 last year. It doesn’t look like there’s another horse of his caliber here, but it’s still a decent field of eight.
Ireland sends over a decent horse in the form of #1 Arctic Bresil, a winner on debut at Cork. The Irish can never be underestimated when they raid British races, but the home team has two good prospects in #2 Authorised Speed and #7 Tahmuras, both unbeaten in two hurdle races. Both have good prospects but I’m going for Authorised Speed, who has shown a shade more authority in his victories to date.
- $10 win/$30 show: #2 Authorised Speed
Race 6, 10:00 a.m. ET: Veterans’ Handicap Chase, 3 miles, 10-year-olds and up
A great race that encourages people to keep good older jumpers in training, the £100,000 steeplechase features a full field of 18.
The best horse in the race is arguably #3 Snow Leopardess, a winner of the Becher Chase (G3) at Aintree in 2021. She didn’t quite see the race out this season when eighth, but this is arguably not as strong, and I’m going to go for her.
#1 Ramses De Teillee was highly impressive when winning at Warwick Nov. 16 and must be included, while I also have time for #16 Saint Xavier after his victory at Haydock Nov. 30.
- $10 win/$20 show: #3 Snow Leopardess
- $5 exacta: box 1, 3, 16