Sandown Saturday Preview - 07/01/23

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Sandown - January 07 2023
Sandown 12:05
Jamie Moore

Bo Zenith

J: Jamie Moore
T: Gary Moore
Age: 4
Weight: 11-10
Days: 279

The first race of the afternoon sees the British debut of the very exciting Bo Zenith for Gary Moore, with the younster looking to use this race as a stepping stone towards the Grade One Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.

Bought from France and given to Gary Moore for this season, the four year old looks a very talented type off the back of his sole run to date when comfortably landing a 1m7f hurdles event at Auteuil back in April 2022 for David Cottin.

What made that success even smarter was that a horse called Blood Destiny was back in second that day and that gelding is now with Willie Mullins and on his debut for the Closutton yard looked extremely talented bolting up by five lengths hard held, in a 20 runner maiden.

Bo Zenith went on to school the Mullins horse in France and although we will find out more about the horse after his run at Sandown on Saturday, he could be a superstar in the making.

Sandown - January 07 2023
Sandown 12:40
Jonathan Burke

Love Envoi

J: Jonathan Burke
T: Harry Fry
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 144
Days: 35

The second race of the afternoon is one of the big ones of the afternoon with the Listed Mares Hurdle over 2m4f seeing leading Mares Hurdle contender Love Envoi make her second run of the season.

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 took on the boys and put up a serious weight carrying performance to win the race in determined fashion.

This looks an easier, especially getting weight off last years winner Martello Sky and you can be sure she will improve again for the step back up in trip.

Sandown - January 07 2023
Sandown 13:15
Stan Sheppard


J: Stan Sheppard
T: Tom Lacey
Age: 7
Weight: 11-13
OR: 129
Days: 85

Another nice event from Sandown is the Handicap Chase over 2m4f and Scipion for the Tom Lacey team looks overpriced.

The seven year old was a decent hurdler for Lacey last season running four times last term, hitting the frame in every run including a close third in the Grade Two Leamington Novices' Hurdle and then third again behind Hillcrest in the Grade Two Albert Bartlett Prestige Novices' Hurdle at Haydock.

He got off the mark on his final run last season at Chepstow in March and was sent Chasing this term when making a decent debut in a 2m 6 1/2f Handicap Chase at Uttoxeter in October when third behind two progressive types.

Dropped 2lb for that run to a mark of 129 for this run, he has been waiting for the ground to turn soft and gets his ideal conditions in a winnable race.

Sandown - January 07 2023
Sandown 13:50
Charlie Deutsch

Frero Banbou

J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
Age: 8
Weight: 11-13
OR: 140
Days: 49

Next up from Sandown is the Handicap Chase over 1m 7 1/2f and getting his ideal ground for the first time this season Frero Banbou looks overpriced.

Having dropped to a lowly mark of 134 last season he got back to winning ways at Lingfield on heavy ground in good fashion.

Sent to Sandown after that he was bumped up to a mark of 140 and still ran a cracker to finish second to Dolos in a race he has made his own over the last few years.

Up 1lb to 141 he continued in good form to finish third of 16 in torrential conditions in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham festival in March.

Excused for his last run of the season at Aintree with it maybe coming a bit too soon, he returned this year off a mark of 142 at Ascot when just losing out to the well Handicapped Thyme White for Paul Nicholls.

Sent back over the same course and distance off the same mark he was a good fourth to the progressive Boothill and So Scottish, yet again another stellar run.

Both of his runs this season have come on good ground showing he is versatile when it comes to conditions, but his best runs have come on soft ground and having ran well over the same C&D last term in a better race last term, off the same mark, he could go close.

Sandown - January 07 2023
Sandown 14:25
Jamie Moore

Authorised Speed

J: Jamie Moore
T: Gary Moore
Age: 6
Weight: 11-8
OR: 132
Days: 35

The feature race of the afternoon is the Grade One Tolworth Novices' Hurdle won by Constitution Hill last year and with the withdrawal of the favourite Luccia, Authorised Speed in this ground has leading claims.

Second on his first two starts under rules last term, the second when a narrow runner up at Ascot in a Listed event. He got off the mark at the third time of asking at Newbury when bolting up.

Sent back over the same C&D in another Listed event he was a fair fourth behind some nice runners and then went to the Cheltenham festival and finished a really nice fifth of 20 in the Champion Bumper behind the superstar Facile Vega in soft conditions.

Showing that the more rain the better for this horse on seasonal/hurdles debut this term, he got off the mark at the first time of asking when bolting up by 15 lengths.

Last time out over the same C&D as the Tolworth he went on to bolt up again under a penalty and getting the same conditions, if jumping better and improving once more, he has to be feared.

Arctic Bresil and Tahmuras are big dangers in what looks a cracking renewal of the race.

Sandown - January 07 2023
Sandown 15:00
Lilly Pinchin

Saint Xavier

J: Lilly Pinchin
T: Richard Hobson
Age: 11
Weight: 10-11
OR: 126
Days: 38

The penultimate race of the afternoon from Sandown is the big fielded Veteran's Handicap Chase over three miles and we have played two at each way prices.

The first is the Richard Hobson trained Saint Xavier, who got back to form last time out at Haydock over slightly further than this trip on soft ground, when landing a Veteran's Chase with ease off a mark of 121.

Only up 5lbs for that win to a mark of 126, he showed enough to say he will handle that rise and getting his preferred soft ground again, with the yard in smart form, he holds a big chance.

Handy 3lb claimer Lily Pinchin takes the ride again.

Sandown - January 07 2023
Sandown 15:00
Richie McLernon

Chirico Vallis

J: Richie McLernon
T: Neil Mulholland
Age: 11
Weight: 11-1
OR: 130
Days: 35

At a much bigger price of 16/1 Chirico Vallis for Neil Mullholland and owner JP McManus has seen his mark dropped down to 130 which is the same as when he last won.

Giving his best run of last season off the same mark at Chepstow in October 2021 he went on to land a valuable Handicap Chase over a similar trip, seeing off the well handicapped Kitty's Light, with the pair well clear of the third.

Since then he has ran to a good standard off higher marks, finishing third of 15 at Warwick in the Grade Three Classic Handicap Chase over 3m5f and again on his final completed run of the season he was another close up third in a Veteran's Handicap Chase at Doncaster back at three miles.

Back for another season he made his seasonal debut at Wetherby in December off 132 when a good third on soft ground over todays trip and now back down to an ideal mark, on soft ground again, he should outrun his odds of 16/1.

Sandown - January 07 2023
Sandown 15:35
Harry Cobden


J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 5
Weight: 11-3
OR: 131
Days: 315

The final event of the afternoon at Sandown sees the Class 2 Handicap Hurdle over two miles and off a mark of 131 on handicap debut, Iceo for Paul Nicholls should go well.

Bought by Chris Giles and given to Nicholls after being a taking winner at Dieppe in August 2021, he then made his British debut at Kempton when bolting up by 17 lengths in a Juvenile Hurdle on soft ground.

Sent into deeper waters next time out at Cheltenham's Trial Day meeting in late January of last year he finished fourth behind the very talented Pied Piper.

Rounding off last season again in Grade Two company at Kempton in the Dovecote Novices' Hurdle, he finished a close up fourth behind some talented horses.

Now handicapping off his current mark and showing he goes well fresh, he holds a leading chance for the inform yard.