Sandown Race Preview, 05/12/2020

Saturday December 5th

Sandown 1.50
Planteur At Chapel Stud Henry VIII Novices’ Chase Class 1 Grade 1
1m7f119y – Going: Soft (Good to Soft in places) – 6 runners

Eldorado Allen
Fortunate winner at Cheltenham last time, 1st 2 clear, had 2 or 3 lengths to find when left clear by Gumball’s fall 2 out, well ahead run-in, at most pushed out, unchallenged. Would have been around 2 lengths 2nd had Gumball stood up, but to give him his due, he jumped soundly and went well through the race; he’d earlier impressed when defeating Stormy Ireland at Newton Abbot on chasing debut, safe with the race when blundering at the last (the rest of his jumping that time was sound), so interesting here
Phoenix Way
Outsider of three when making a successful chasing debut at Warwick, narrowly beating Stratagem; on only start last season won a Pertemps Qualifier at Huntingdon over 3m1f, so some transformation into a two-mile novice chaser – he won that off 133 and lags some of these in terms of hurdles ratings, so for me a bit to find
Tamaroc Du Mathan
Successful chasing debut in novices’ limited handicap at Wincanton last month, drawing clear on the bit to beat Golden Taipan; best over hurdles when 5th to Pic D’Orhy in Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, a bit further back than ideal on the home bend and best work at the end; has found nothing off the bridle in the past
Last season’s Finale Hurdle winner made a successful chasing debut at Warwick on November 6th beating Zanza, travelled much the best as opened up a clear lead after 3 out, some 8 lengths ahead approaching 2 out, niggled along, kept up the gallop approaching last, not hard ridden to maintain lead run-in, looked to have plenty left, readily beat Zanza, who boosted the form when coming clear to win at Newbury last Saturday; should go well
Ga Law**
Has won three out of three over fences, getting better each time, on his second run surviving a couple of mistakes and drawing clear to beat handicappers at Exeter, then impressive in Grade 2 Rising Stars at Wincanton, drawing clear from the fourth last and beating Hurricane Harvey 22 lengths; fully entitled to take his chance in this Grade 1
On British debut, won a beginners’ chase at Ffos Las on November 8th, a length and a bit off leader after 9th, pair pulled well clear, led approaching 4 out, not shaken up and drew further clear approaching 3 out, left even further clear there by Highway One O Two’s fall, blundered 2 out, was on the bit when well clear between last 2, readily and unchallenged from Mack The Man. This one races with a long, lolloping stride and, on the evidence of the Ffos Las-race, has a jump longer and floatier than most – just the thing for a galloping track with well-spaced fences, but whether he’ll be suited by Sandown and the fences coming at him quick on the back straight, not sure

Alternative: Allmankind

Sandown 2.25
Betfair Tingle Creek Chase Class 1 Grade 1
1m7f119y – Going: Soft (Good to Soft in places) – 6 runners

Not at his best last season, first the well-publicised match with Cyrname at Ascot that went wrong, then his apparently getting back on track in the Game Spirit at Newbury, niggled along from 4 out as pace increased, more firmly pushed along after 3 out, stayed on under a ride from 2 out, led after last, ran on to draw clear of Sceau Royal. Missed the Queen Mother Champion Chase but, if he’s over whatever was supposed to have ailed him, should run close – he’ll come off the bridle before others but that’s his run style
Started this season unbeaten when completing the course over fences, but disappointing reappearance in Colin Parker Intermediate at Carlisle on November 1st, in last when mistake and lost ground 10th, niggled along and appeared to be struggling 12th, ridden and made ground 4 out, was closing on leaders 3 out, hard driven after 2 out, faded approaching last, weakened further run-in, dropped to last, finished tired. Plain and simple didn’t stay and needs to drop to 2m – so has his trip now, but plenty to find
Castlegrace Paddy
Lags the best two-mile chasers but has beaten what’s put in front of him the last twice, at Navan last March beating Ornua in the Grade 2 Webster Cup, ridden into 8th and moved upsides Ornua, moved comfortably 3 out, niggled along from 2 out, not going as well as leader and went a length down approaching last, found extra and stayed on to lead a few strides off it, jumped left and across runner-up, ridden out, asserted run-in; and on reappearance in Fortria Chase back at Navan, this time beating odds-on favourite A Plus Tard. Beaten 19 lengths into 6th when taking on Altior in the 2019 Queen Mother Champion Chase, he’s not expected to take a hand
Last season a useful novice, running 4th in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival, but arguably would have been 3rd to Chosen Mate but for a blunder at the second last. Successful reappearance in Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, travelled best approaching 4 out, chased leader approaching 3 out, reached for it, not shaken up before 2 out, 2 lengths down jumping, hard ridden, carried head awkwardly, not stay on approaching last, hard ridden and hung left again, put under strong pressure, picked up last 150 yards, stayed on well and led close home, going away last stride. Helped to an extent by the runner-up Moonlighter tiring, it looked like he wouldn’t go through with it between the second last and the last; for now gets the benefit of the doubt re: resolution, but a bit to find here if Altior and Politologue are on their game
In the absence of Altior and the promising Chacun Pour Soi, and also Defi Du Seuil running below form, was effectively handed the 2020 Queen Mother Champion Chase on a plate, making all, moved comfortably approaching 3 out, moved best approaching home turn, pushed along turning in, stayed on and had gone 4 lengths clear by 2 out, hard driven betwen last 2, was 6 lengths up last, ridden out, went further clear, wandered/tired up the hill, all out but never in danger, unchallenged from the subsequently ill-fated Dynamite Dollars. The soft going is in his favour but if Altior’s at his best, it’s likely that Politologue will get the silver medal this time
Rouge Vif 
Got two wins in his novice chase season and ran 3rd to Put The Kettle On in the Arkle at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, no extra when left 5th 2 out, put under pressure, kept on, went 4th approaching last, stuck to task, closed on 3rd up the hill and took the place post, no chance with 1st or 2nd. On his reappearance, he looked to have left that form behind big time when bossing a 2m handicap chase at Cheltenham in October, led 3 out and travelled much the best of the field, led 3 to 4 lengths home turn, pushed along approaching last, was 6 or 7 lengths up jumping, one reminder, ridden out, drew further clear, eased last 100 yards, readily and decisive from Western Miller. The form hasn’t worked out but the style marks couldn’t be faulted; has a lot to do here though

Selection: ALTIOR – Alternative: Politologue

Copyright Roy Waterhouse 2020. All rights reserved.