Sandown Friday Preview - 15/02/2019

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12:50 - Oscar Hoof

The opening race of eight from Sandown on Royal Artillery Day is the starsports.bet Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle over just shy of two miles, and Oscar Hoof looks to be very well handicapped.

That comes off the basis of some previous old form; attractive to the eye on paper, and finished second recently in seller at Leicester.

No buyers unfortunately and now very much a veteran, will look to reignite the spark that led him to a number of victories over five years ago now.

Player.

13:20 - Not Another Muddle

Not Another Muddle has only ever raced three times over fences, and will look to progress up the ladder in the Ubique Handicap Chase.

Two from two over the larger obstacles last season, he made a pleasing reappearance when third over course and distance last month behind the useful Dolos from the Nicholls yard.

Trainer having a fine season, and can notch up another victory in this with the best rated horse on official ratings.

13:50 - Kalashnikov

Not ideal for Kalashnikov on his quest towards the Arkle, now attempting to go right handed once again in the rearranged Kingmaker Novices Chase in Esher.

This race looked made for him at Warwick, but needs to use this contest either way to better his jumping, with in particular Le Richebourg waiting in the wings in under four weeks time.

Has course form behind subsequent Supreme winner Summerville Boy from last season's Tolworth, and will have strong claims to go one better.

The class horse in the race.

14:25 - Queenohearts

The Grade Two action does not stop there, with the Weatherbys Grade Two TBA Jane Seymour Mares' Novice Hurdle, where Queenohearts can continue her excellent run of late.

Only ever raced five times incredibly, and has progressed in a very short space of time. Won her bumper here last March, before going onto land Listed glory at Haydock in December after a narrow defeat on hurdles bow at Chepstow.

Major major player here and will be hard to beat.

15:00 - Rathlin Rose

The big race of the day is the Castel Royal Artillery Gold Cup - a chase for Military Amateur Riders, and Rathlin Rose looks an obvious contender despite conceding weight to all his rivals.

The 11yo won this race under this outstanding Amateur - Guy Disney in 2017 and 2018 and has failed to really replicate that form anywhere else.

This race though just looks built for him, and with conditions no problem, he will sure to be involved. Has ground to make up on two outings both here this season but continues to be lowered in the weights; the same mark as in his last victory at Ascot.

Leading chances.

15:30 - Elusive Belle

Dickie Pile's 80th Birthday is celebrated next in this National Hunt Novices Hurdle just shy of two miles, and the one mare in the field Elusive Belle can reign supreme over her male counterparts.

She finished second in a Listed bumper before an impressive debut over hurdles. Form reads 5321, so seems to be at her optimum now.

All runs have been on good going, so first real test on soft ground, but has a top claimer in the saddle.

Big shout.

16:05 - Darius Des Bois

Nicky Henderson also sends Darius Des Bois in the next - the starsports.bet Handicap Chase (For the Alanbrooke Challenge Cup) over three miles, who caught the eye here last month.

Sent off favourite, he was running on late to snatch second towards the finish from Western Miller, but a long way behind the leader Larry.

Also found Coup De Pinceau too much at Ludlow at the back end of last year, but a number of fine efforts could and should be rewarded with a win here.

A well earned riser, looks well handicapped for this contest.

16:35 - Copperhead

The final race on a busy Royal Artillery afternoon is the starsports.bet Novices Handicap Hurdle, and Colin Tizzard sends Copperhead for the finale.

Just the four runs over hurdles and has gradually been improving each time, until his smart and decisive win at Exeter a few weeks back.

Small mistake that day fortunately did not halt his assertions up the run-in so could be even more to come.

Improver, and not to be discounted.

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