ITV Racing Preview Saturday Sandown and Aintree - 09/12/23

Sandown - December 09 2023
Sandown 13:15
5
Jonathan Burke

Love Envoi

J: Jonathan Burke
T: Harry Fry
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-3
OR: 153
Days: 224

Constitution Hill obviously heads the market here and is the most likely winner but his general 2/9 price provides zero value for backers.

An alternative with six runners in the race is looking for who will be 2nd to him at a decent E/W price and Love Envoi looks to have her perfect ground conditions for a big run. Harry Fry's mare was lethal here in a handicap under a big weight last season before going on to be a close 2nd in the Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival behind Honeysuckle.

Although it's unlikely she'll get close to Henderson's stable star, she sets a strong standard for the rest of the field and could be worth putting in a forecast with the favourite.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/01/24CHL17GS11-12
09/12/23SAN16Hy11-32
29/04/23PUN19Gd/Y11-76
14/03/23CHL20Sft11-52
07/01/23SAN20Sft11-71
Sandown - December 09 2023
Sandown 13:50
3
Brendan Powell

JPR One

J: Brendan Powell
T: Joe Tizzard
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: 145
Days: 22

JPR One sets a strong standard at the head of the market for this Grade one event and last time out backers will be looking for some compensation after his unseating.

Looking to have a Grade Two at his mercy at Cheltenham the Tizzard 6 year old came to grief at the last fence where he stumbled upon landing and unshipped Brendan Powell from the saddle.

A smooth debut success over fences shows how talented he can be and he looks to have Iceo held on that form. If running to his best again, he's likely to be hard to beat if finding his landing gear at each of his fences.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/01/24LIN16Sft11-21
09/12/23SAN15.5Hy11-73
17/11/23CHL16GS11-4UR
21/10/23NAB16.5Hy10-91
14/04/23AIN16.5Sft11-45
Sandown - December 09 2023
Sandown 14:25
5
Niall Houlihan

Spirit D'Aunou

J: Niall Houlihan
T: Gary Moore
N/A
Age: 4
Weight: 10-10
OR: 129
Days: 42

A near perfect season over hurdles last campaign saw Spirit D'Anunou win four of his five outings over timber, improving through the handicap ranks in impressive style, including a win over this course and distance on deep ground.

Well fancied for his comeback run at Cheltenham last month, he was sent off a warm favourite for the Masterson Holdings Hurdle but was far too fresh and keen to see his race out behind Blueking D'Oroux. The form looking strong with the winner going on to score in the Coral Hurdle since.

With a run under his belt, he should shape more professionally here. A handicap mark of 129 looks more than fair and Niall Houlihan has won on him before and claims 3lbs off his back.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
10/02/24NBY16.5Hy11-1015
09/12/23SAN16Hy10-71
28/10/23CHL16.5GS11-04
15/04/23CHP16GS11-31
11/03/23SAN16Hy11-121
Sandown - December 09 2023
Sandown 15:00
4
Nico de Boinville

Jonbon

J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 170
Days: 20

Near impossible to oppose at the head of the market, Jonbon returned to action this season off the back of his impressive novice chasing campaign to win the Shloer Chase in fine fashion.

Has only tasted defeat twice in his career over obstacles coming 2nd to Constitution Hill and El Fabiolo at the last two Cheltenham Festivals so it clearly takes a special type to get him beat.

Is lean odds here so will likely be making up a leg in multiples.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/01/24CHL16.5GS11-102
09/12/23SAN15.5Hy11-101
19/11/23CHL16Sft11-101
29/04/23SAN15.5GS11-101
15/04/23AIN16GS11-71
Sandown - December 09 2023
Sandown 15:35
4
Marc Goldstein

Certainly Red

J: Marc Goldstein
T: Lydia Richards
N/A
Age: 9
Weight: 11-12
OR: 138
Days: 28

A tricky marathon handicap to close the card at Sandown and Lydia Richards charge looks to have a good chance.

The 9 year old took to fences incredibly well last year, chalking up four wins in five starts in the space of a year, only tasting defeat once when being brought down early at Lingfield.

He didn't quite cut in in Grade Three company at the end of the season here in the Bet365 Chase but made a very pleasing re-appearance in the Badger Beers Chase at Wincanton last month to be 4th.

The handicapper has relented another 2lbs and a mark of 138 leaves him looking well enough handicapped to have a say.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/12/23NBY26Sft12-25
09/12/23SAN28.5Hy11-123
11/11/23WCN25GS10-104
29/04/23SAN28.5GS10-57
02/04/23ASC21.5GS11-89
Aintree - December 09 2023
Aintree 13:30
6
Harry Skelton

Heltenham

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-3
OR: 134
Days: 21

Despite not showing much over hurdles when he initially joined the Skeltons, Heltenham improved rapidly for being switched to fences and ran up a quick hat-trick over the larger obstacles taking his rating from 107 to 134 in the process.

A return to action this season came over hurdles and he duly dotted up over timber at prohibitive odds to regain the winning thread. It's likely set him up nicely for this effort as he reverts back to fences and a rating of 134.

Likely to continue his progression as a chaser and seems to handle almost any going conditions.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/01/24LIN19.5Sft12-18
09/12/23AIN20Hy11-33
18/11/23WET19.5Sft10-91
19/04/23CHL20.5Gd11-4F
25/03/23NBY20Sft10-111
Aintree - December 09 2023
Aintree 14:05
6
James Best

Moroder

J: James Best
T: Seamus Mullins
N/A
Age: 9
Weight: 10-6
OR: 140
Days: 41

A staying race over the Grand National fences, the Becher is a thorough test of a horses stamina and jumping ability and with Coko Beach running off a mark of 162, plenty are sneaking in with a low weight.

One of which is the Seamus Mullins trained Moroder who's form has been a bit in and out but when he puts it all together can put in a massive run. Notable efforts last year came when winning the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster, getting the better of Undersupervision.

Rounding out the campaign with a creditable effort in the Bet365 Chase at Sandown he only found the out and out stayer Kitty's Light too good in the Grade Three.

A poor comeback saw him pull up and bleed from the nose but he remains on a mark of 140 and really puts his best foot forward in these stiff stamina tests. If non the worse for his poor seasonal reappearance, he might be worth chancing at 33/1 with up to 5 places on offer.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/01/24KEM24GS11-57
09/12/23AIN26Hy10-6PU
29/10/23WCN26.5Sft12-0PU
29/04/23SAN28.5GS10-42
04/03/23DON26Gd10-21
Aintree - December 09 2023
Aintree 14:40
1
Henry Brooke

Eagle Prince

J: Henry Brooke
T: Brian Ellison
N/A
Age: 3
Weight: 11-0
OR: 121
Days: 21

A flat recruit for Brian Ellison, Eagle Prince made his debut over hurdles at Sedgefield back in October and and got up narrowly to win by a neck.

The form of that has taken a boost since with the second coming out and winning since and Eagle Prince was fancied enough to go for a Grade Two off the back of that win. Not disgraced in a Triumph Hurdle trial at Cheltenham behind Burdett Road he came home in 4th despite a shuddering error at the last.

With some more experience under his belt he drops in grade here and looks a shade overpriced at 10/1 to be getting involved. Favourite Max Of Stars is looking to back up off only an 8 day break and might be vulnerable to fresher legs.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/12/23CHL17Sft11-43
18/11/23CHL16.5Sft11-04
03/10/23SED17Gd11-21
20/08/23STH8St8-136
10/08/23NOT8.5Gd9-86
Aintree - December 09 2023
Aintree 15:15
11
Sam Twiston-Davies

Chance A Tune

J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 10-7
OR: 116
Days: 35

Nigel Twiston-Davies has been in good form so far this season and has been operating at a 35% success rate in the last two weeks. He sends interesting looking hurdler Chance A Tune for the finale at Aintree and the 8 year old looks well enough handicapped for a big run.

He only won once over hurdles as a novice and has clearly had his issues having not been seen for over 2 years until returning to racing in a decent class 2 handicap hurdle at Market Rasen back in September.

He improved for the return run when scoring easily on soft ground at Chepstow but maybe found things happening too quickly at Ascot last time out.

A mark of 116 might underestimate his chances here and the step up in trip could unlock yet more improvement.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/02/24LUD16Sft11-84
26/12/23KEM21Gd9-116
09/12/23AIN20Hy10-76
04/11/23ASC15.5Sft9-94
13/10/23CHP16Hy9-101