Sky Sports Racing presenter Alex Hammond has three at his side for the bet365 Gold Cup at the Sandown Jumps season finale on Saturday.
Just when you thought you could fully focus on the flat season, we have the celebration of the end of the jump season at Sandown to look forward to this weekend; and a celebration that is sure to be after the end of last season passed without any fans in attendance.
the bet365 Gold Cup is the climax and trainer Christian Williams is once again aiming for his loyal three stalwarts at the grand prix.
Williams started training this type of horse like a duck to water and has a 20% strike rate with horses going over three miles three furlongs (including hurdles).
Thus, the stayers are its strong point and the trio of earn my wings, Kitty’s Light and North Cape rode the Y Ddraig Goch for the team in this type of racing.
This success comes at a price, or the lack of it, but that doesn’t mean the winner is somewhere else.
Kitty’s Light is 5/1 second favorite with Sky Bet to avenge last season’s unlucky defeat in this contest.
The Scottish National victory looked like a victory lap for Win My Wings, but can they overcome a 14-pound rise in the handicap to win at Sandown? She is 5/1 to do so, and finally we have Cap Du Nord which at 14/1 is the least likely winner according to the bookmakers.
Of her three, Kitty’s Light deserves to have the lead after finishing second to the aforementioned stablemates in her last two outings.
Enrilo was the villain 12 months ago when he caused the interference that prevented Kitty’s Light from winning. It also cost his connections dearly, with the first after the position formed by Paul Nicholls being demoted to third place.
After three subsequent disappointing performances, he is only 1 pound off the mark that saw him “win” in 2021. He enters the calculations again after a more encouraging run last time out and is the favorite 4/1 from Skybet. The price reflects his luck, but I don’t expect your boat to float in a race as competitive as this.
Dan Skelton may not have had a successful Cheltenham and just one handicap winner at Aintree, but is under no illusions about his season’s success. His prize total for 2021/22 is up there with his previous best and there have been several highlights along the way.
Phlegmatic is 9/1 to lift this season-ending showpiece event on its first try beyond three miles. He has five more furlongs to face on Saturday, but his trainer always had in mind that this horse would turn into an extreme stayer and that Saturday could be his day.
It certainly seems to have things figured out and is lightly raced and progressive. It has an attractive racing weight and is on my shortlist.
One of the stats I like is when a horse makes a second run after wind surgery. The general consensus is that the first time after surgery a horse gains confidence and the second time it has even more confidence to continue. As an asthmatic, I can only dream of such an intervention!
Well, Potter falls into this category. The difference being that Alan King’s nine-year-old won on his first post-surgery start. He’s 2 pounds more in the handicap than when he won that race in 2021 (I tipped him that day so I was glad he won the contest, even though Kitty’s Light was the moral winner) and this mark enters the calculations again; it is 12/1 with Sky Bet.
Yes musical slave enters the race, he will have a good weight to carry. Can he back up his recent win at Haydock with the cheekbones for the second time here? He’s 7 pounds heavier for that win last week.
As of 1/20 Domain of the Isle it might be worth considering filling one of the spots. Booking Brian Hughes is attracting attention with the champion jockey the last successful rider on horseback in April 2021.
Coach Sean Curran won’t waste any time on Hughes and to date the pair have linked to two winners from six races with £1 profit on £5 bets.
The horse is now 4lbs below that last win mark and although he has a bit to prove on his recent form, he has his optimum conditions and the help of the man who joined a group of elite of jump jockeys to ride 200 winners in one season.
It’s once again a great race and I look forward to trying to solve every year. In conclusion, it is impossible to pass up the runners representing Christian Williams, but at the probable prices, I am happy to have Phlegmatic, Potter and Domain of the Isle for my part.
Congratulations to Brian Hughes on his incredible achievement this season in winning his championship and I’m sure he’ll enjoy Sandown’s celebration win, loss or draw over Domain De L’Isle in the big game.