A couple of my original selections at Hamilton Park bit the dust when that meeting was called off on Thursday.
The Sandown card looked tricky but I’ve got one fancy there plus a couple of skinny ones at Cartmel, my first look at the jumpers this season.
12.15 Cartmel: Naizagai at a general 13-8
Rated 80 on the Flat for Roger Varian and sold for a decent amount at £40,000 to go to Fergal O’Brien’s he clearly looks the part to go jumping.
He has run decent races as a three-year-old over 10 furlongs, which is often regarded as an ideal trip for a prospective hurdler so has a lot in his favour.
Add to that some weak opposition and the application of a tongue-strap for the first time it does look as though we are betting on him jumping round OK and his yard make few mistakes in the schooling department.
He could well be different class to these.
12.50 Cartmel: Finisk River at 6-5 with bet365
Donald McCain used to farm races at this track but with the likes of Paul Nicholls sending several runners nowadays he has to take opportunities when they arise and this looks a good one.
Finisk River might be a late-maturing type and will need further to excel. But for my money he will only need to improve his hurdling a little to win this easily.
2.55 Sandown: Mon Choix at 5-4 with bet365
A quick reappearance for Mon Choix was inevitable after a 7½ lengths win at Windsor on Monday, though may have been part of the plan as he was obviously entered here before that win.
He has come to the right track to suit his running style as front-runners do well at Sandown. He is unlikely to be much of a price but opposition looks limited. Most were unplaced last time out and several appear to be out of form so this may turn out to be quite uncompetitive.
If things go as they did at Windsor, I am sure he will follow up under the champion jockey.
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