ITV Racing Saturday Sandown And Aintree Preview

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Aintree - December 03 2022
Aintree 13:30
Derek Fox

Ahoy Senor

J: Derek Fox
T: Lucinda Russell
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 161
Days: 35

The first selection of the afternoon on ITV comes from Aintree in the Grade Two Many Clouds Chase, won in the past by some very smart performers and this season we feel will be no different.

The Lucinda Russell trained Ahoy Senor should be a class above this field if his first run of the season has truly took the freshness out of him.

A superb horse over the last few years for Lucinda Russell and Peter Scudamore, the seven year old truly announced himself as a special horse at Aintree's Grand National meeting in 2021 when landing the Grade One Sefton Novices' Hurdle by seven lengths at odds of 66/1.

Always bought to be a chaser, he was sent over the larger obstacles last term and having unseated his rider on chase debut at Carlisle, he then went to Newbury and bolted up by 31 lengths in the Grade Two John Francome Novices' Chase.

Second to Bravemansgame in the Grade One Kauto Star Novices' Chase at the King George meeting at Kempton, he was then sent to Wetherby looking to get back on track in the Grade Two Towton Novices' Chase and saw off Grand National winner Noble Yeats.

That run set him up perfectly for a crack at the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham festival and with he rain falling it played to the strengths of L'Homme Presse with Ahoy Senor chasing him home in second.

His last run of last season came at Aintree again, looking to settle the score with Bravemansgame, he went on to land the Grade One Mildmay Novices' Chase from the front with ease, keeping his unbeaten record at the track.

For his seasonal debut this term he took on his old mate again at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall Chase and he ran nowhere near the standard he has previously shown.

He will be much better for that first outing and getting back to a track he is unbeaten at he is the one to beat.

Sandown - December 03 2022
Sandown 13:45
Aidan Coleman


J: Aidan Coleman
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: 152
Days: 17

The first Grade One event of the afternoon is next with the Henry VIII Novices' Chase from Sandown and Jonbon for Nicky Henderson is the big odds on favourite and should not be beat.

A £570,000 purchase and full brother to the top class hurdler Douvan, Jonbon was an easy 15 length winner of his Irish PTP and subsequently went on to cosily land his sole bumper start on his first run for Nicky Henderson.

He then marked his debut over obstacles at Newbury, on the back of a 244 day break, with a cracking performance, winning by an eased down six length margin in November this year.

He stepped up in grade next time at Ascot in the Grade Two Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle and again was an easy winner and then sent to Haydock on his prep run before the Cheltenham festival he was a determined winner of the Grade Two Supreme Trial.

His only defeat under rules came at the Cheltenham festival when second behind the superstar Constitution Hill, but he showed just how good he was on his final start of last term when landing the first Grade One of his career at Aintree in the Top Novices' Hurdle.

Bought to be a chaser, Henderson gave him his debut over fences at Warwick on his seasonal debut this term and he looked an improved animal once more when bolting up at Warwick.

He saw off Grade One winner Monmiral and smart hurdler West Cork to win by seven lengths eased down.

One to beat.

Aintree - December 03 2022
Aintree 14:05
Henry Brooke


J: Henry Brooke
T: Oliver Greenall & Josh Guerriero
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 137
Days: 28

One of the feature races at Aintree this weekend is the Becher Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences and we have picked two horses out at an each way price that should go close.

Making his debut for the yard in a Hunter Chase at Ludlow in March this year when beating a decent horse, he then went to Kempton and made it back to back wins.

Sent to France in May up to 2m 6 1/2f he was a narrow second to a next time out winner and then backed that up himself next time out when making it three wins from four for the yard at Auteuil again in a Listed Chase.

The key to this horse is soft ground so anymore rain at Aintree on Saturday would be welcomed for him.

Off a mark of 133 when last seen he ran a superb race to finish a nose second in the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase over 2m5f at the track and only up 4lbs, having took to the National fences well, he can't be overlooked.

Aintree - December 03 2022
Aintree 14:05
A P Heskin

The Wolf

J: A P Heskin
T: Olly Murphy
Age: 8
Weight: 11-5
OR: 138
Days: 42

At a bigger price is The Wolf for trainer Olly Murphy who is hovering around the mid to late 130s when it comes to the handicapper and might just have a few lbs up his sleeve.

On New Year's Day at Cheltenham he ran out a very good second behind a nice type in Full Back for Gary Moore over 3m2f in a good handicap event.

Upped again in trip to 3m 7 1/2f, he showed superb staying ability to grab a close second again behind a very lowly weighted rival in Captain Cattistock.

Trying that trip for the first time bought out big improvement and only going up 2lb for that run, he went into the Scottish Grand National at Ayr and was a good seventh behind runaway winner Win My Wings.

Put away for the season after that run he returned at Cheltenham's Showcase meeting in October when a good second behind Lord Accord over 3m1f.

That horse has since franked the form off a higher mark and running off the same mark in this event, The Wold looks an interesting place proposition.

Sandown - December 03 2022
Sandown 14:20
Jonathan Burke

Love Envoi

J: Jonathan Burke
T: Harry Fry
Age: 6
Weight: 11-10
OR: 139
Days: 230

Next up is the two mile Handicap Hurdle and if Love Envoi returns in a similar fashion as to how she was last term, she should not be beat off a mark of 139.

Love Envoi for Harry Fry and owners Noel Fehily Racing Syndicate was a revelation last season making her debut at Leicester in December when winning nicely over 2m 4 1/2f.

Seen five more times before the end of the season the mare went on to win four nice events including two Grade Two events, one of them being the Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.

Looking to round out the season in a Grade One at Fairyhouse, she bumped into the fresh Brandy Love for Willie Mullins and had to settle for second in the Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final.

Dropped back into a handicap for her seasonal debut off 139, she should not be beat if fully fit.

Aintree - December 03 2022
Aintree 14:40
Harry Skelton

Knight In Dubai

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 9
Weight: 11-0
OR: 131
Days: 24

A really nice event on ITV this weekend is the Class 2 Handicap Chase over 2m4f from Aintree and Knight In Dubai for the inform Skelton's could have a part to play at a price.

The nine year old has shown glimpses of form throughout his career but has looked to have been on too high a mark for his ability and not being able to be consistent.

Given his seasonal debut this term at Bangor in a Class 3 Handicap Chase over 2m 4 1/2f he was a good second giving over a stone away to the winner.

That run came off a mark of 130 and only 1lb higher for that, with the form of the yard and the gelding stripping much fitter for that run, at an each way price he looks very interesting.

Has ran well at Aintree in the past.

Sandown - December 03 2022
Sandown 14:55
Harry Cobden


J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 171
Days: 29

The feature race of the afternoon from Sandown is the Grade One Tingle Creek Chase and it sees a superb field of six head to post.

We are siding with the Paul Nicholls trained Greaneteen to land back to back renewals of this race and although the superstar Shishkin will be very tough to beat, we feel Paul Nicholls' horse has plenty in his favour to see off the favourite.

Greaneteen is a solid contender for this event having some superb Sandown form and off the back of his weight carrying seasonal debut at Exeter he looks an even better horse this term.

Second in this event on his first try back in 2020, he then finished that season over the same C&D when landing the Grade One Celebration Chase.

Making his seasonal debut last term in the Haldon Gold Cup when not being able to give the weight away, he improved massively for the run to land this event from stablemate Hitman.

Second in the Desert Orchid at Christmas behind Shishkin, he then went to the Dublin Racing Festival in February and ran no race in the Dublin Chase.

Back at Sandown for his final run of the season he made it back to back wins in the Grade One Celebration Chase and a hat-trick of wins over C&D.

Normally needing the run on seasonal debut, he looked fitter than ever at Exeter in the Haldon Gold Cup giving mountains of weight away and he went on to bolt up with ease.

Nicholls can't have him in any better form and with Shishkin, although being a superstar, he does have some questions to answer off the back of his bone disease and last performance at the Cheltenham festival.

Great race.

Aintree - December 03 2022
Aintree 15:15
James Bowen

Walking On Air

J: James Bowen
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 5
Weight: 11-2
OR: 132
Days: 238

The penultimate selection of the afternoon on ITV comes from Aintree in the 2m4f Handicap Hurdle and having not ran last week, but set to make his seasonal debut this time around, Walking On Air for Nicky Henderson is a big player off his mark.

The five year old son of Walk In The Park made his rules debut in March last year at Kempton in a two mile bumper and was a good second behind Shallwehaveonemore.

Sent over hurdles last season he has only been seen twice but what a performance it was taking out a Novice Hurdle by 13 lengths over two miles on debut.

Sent up in trip at Aintree's Grand National meeting when last seen he was unfortunately pulled up but putting that down to a blip and having enough time off to mature as a horse, he was bought to be much better than a mark of 132.

Interesting contender.

Sandown - December 03 2022
Sandown 15:30
Kevin Brogan

Revels Hill

J: Kevin Brogan
T: Harry Fry
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 138
Days: 15

The final event of the afternoon at Sandown is the London National Handicap Chase over 3m5f and Revels Hill for Harry Fry has the stand out form in the race.

The seven year old was very well handicapped last season finishing second in December off a mark of 122 at Hereford over 3m1f and off the back of that landed back to back races at Taunton.

Given a mark of 137 for the start of this season he ran a cracker on seasonal debut at Ascot when second of 13 in the Handicap Chase over 2m5f, giving a stone away to Your Darling and not being beaten all that far.

Only up 1lb for that second he looks a big player getting back to his preferred staying trips.