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Today is the OFFICIAL final day of the National Hunt season, where we see the curtain closer at Sandown & we crown the Champion Jockey & Champion Trainer.
We would like to THANK every stable hand, trainer, jockey, head lad & driver for all their hard work during the National Hunt season & offer our congratulations to Harry Skelton on winning the NH Champion Jockey Championship for the first time, Danny Mcmenamin on becoming Conditional Champion Jockey & to Paul Nicholls & his team for winning the Trainers Championship….
Anyway on to todays racing & we have Sandown (Good, Good to firm in places) & Ripon ( Good to Firm, Good in Places) for you today, Charlie is away fishing so hopefully the 3 of us can have another good day…
3.05 Bet365 Celebration Chase
A fascinating final Grade 1 of the British jumps season with Champion Chase winner Put The Kettle on facing Altior and Sceau Royal with others also lining up to pick up the pieces. Altior gets the nod today, his effort Kempton was creditable and would obviously have needed his first start of the campaign. Nube Negra then franked the form by finishing a close 2nd to Put the Kettle On at the Festival. If Altior has come on physically since christmas, and connections believe he has, then he must take all beating here, with the Sandown hill obviously playing to his strengths having won this three times before.
3.40 Bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase
Plan Of Attack was travelling nicely at the top of the hill in the Kim Muir when stumbling on landing after jumping 3 out. Connections have since given this son of Court Cave extra time to get over that mishap. He arrives here 1lb lower than his Festival mark, and will find todays ground no issue having previously won twice on good ground. It’s perhaps a tip in itself that Rachael Blackmore wanted to come over and take the ride, and I fancy them to plunder another big prize on these shores in this competitive renewal.
Sandown Park –
3:05 – Celebration Chase (G1) – Selection: Put The Kettle On (NAP)
This looks as good a renewal of this 2m Grade One for some time as 2 of the last 3 Champion Chasers go head to head. Alitor despite with age catching up on him still commands a lot of respect, however, I can’t ignore Put The Kettle On who done very well to claim the 2m chasing crown at Cheltenham. Henry De Bromhead’s Mare loves to travel over to England where she is unbeaten in 4 races. She gets the mares allowance of 7lbs here and that could well make the difference against Altior & Sceau Royal, who was very unlucky at Cheltenham. The stiff finish at Sandown will suit her perfectly and with a willing attitude to help she should not be far away. There is also a strong chance that she is still improving. Big chance.
4:50 – Bet365 Novices Handicap Chase – Selection: Not That Fuisse
A hot little 2m 4f contest in store for us here. Killer Clown is undoubtedly the one to beat after a great effort in the Greatwood at Newbury to finish second. On this occasion though I am taking him on with Not That Fuisse for the Skeltons. Not That Fuisse has been performing well this season with form figures of 2152 so far in 2021. His best piece of form would have to be his fifth in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival, he ran so well for a long way and just emptied a bit up the hill. The step up in trip to 2m 4f did him no harm at Ayr last Friday where he so nearly won a listed race. Off the same mark today he is a big danger and will hopefully be in the thick of things again for a team in great form.
6:15 – Class 5 Handicap – Selection: Lochnaver
William Haggas sends Frankel Filly Lochnaver up to Wolverhampton as he makes his handicap bow this evening over the 1m 1 ½f trip. Lochnaver has been running respectably in Novice Stakes over the winter with his latest start coming at today’s venue over 1m 4f, which looked too far as he weakened away. The form of that race hasn’t worked too badly as the third Napper Tandy won a nice race at Newcastle on Good Friday. It is also eye-catching that Tom Marquand makes the journey to Wolverhampton for four rides and we know how deadly the Haggas/Marquand combination is. At his current price of 5/1 he represents some value and his form is amongst the best on offer.
I have 2 from Ripon today on the flat..
2.40 – Handicap – Class 4 – 3yo Only – 5f…
Batraan – Camacho X Testimony Colt.
Has been kept busy this winter on the All Weather, winning once & finishing runner up twice from his 4 AW starts from January to March 1st, all in class 5 company.
His last run was on April 7th on the turf, which was good to firm at Nottingham in a 5f Class 4 Handicap, when winning by a head from Shalaa Asker… WIN – WITHDRAWN
5.00 – Handicap – Class 3 – 4yo Plus – 1m…
Artistic Rifle – War Command X Chatham Island 5yo gelding.
Has had a couple of starts for his new trainer. He won at Redcar in a Class 4 Hnadicap over 1m back in September before having a break of 161 days, when he returned on the All Weather at Newcastle in a class 3 handicap over 1m, when finishing 3rd before heading to Doncaster on March 27th. He was stepping up in class also from 3 to 2 over 1m when winning by a neck. He beat Acquitted, who is rated 91 from a mark of 86 & has only been raised 2 for the win. Looks ahead of his mark… WIN
That is everything for you today folks, thanks for popping by & for your support, we really appreciate it..
Pictures – Sandown (File) & Ripon (Ripon RC Twitter account)
All the Best – The Arseonlineracing Team