There’s a feast of action this weekend for racing fans as the Tingle Creek festival gets underway at Sandown.
The action begins on Friday afternoon when ITV4 broadcasts seven races from Sandown as well as featuring a strong card at Exeter.
Here’s Stefan Fellows to look at all the featured races as well as his all-important picks.
13.50 2m4f (2m4f10y) My Oddsboost On Betfair Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 3) (4yo+ 0-135)
Funambule Sivola is officially well in on ratings following his easy success on chase debut 9 days ago.
This is a tougher race and the step up in trip for this keen type is an unknown at this stage but he is the one they all have to beat for the inform team of Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch.
Another trainer who has his horses in excellent heart currently is Sam Thomas with 7 winners from his last 14 runners and only 2 of those not picking up minor honours.
His runner here Before Midnight has to reverse recent form with Newbury winner Morning Vicar but he has 6lb weight turnaround on this occasion and softer ground should be no trouble.
Alnadam ran well enough on his seasonal return at Carlisle in a similar race to suggest he has future over the larger obstacles and is another to consider.
Selection: Before Midnight (Each Way)
14.25 2m4f (2m3f173y) Ballymore Winter Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)
A small but select field with 4 of the 5 runners all winners last time out and looking nice prospects.
Star Gate was an impressive winner at Chepstow, this Irish point winner is well regarded by connections and he looks to have a bright future.
Paul Nicholls may have just found the key now Sending Love who returned this season with a comfortable success at Ffos Las. He looked a stronger type than we had seen previously and is expected to now progress further.
Harry Cobden is once again in the yard and the partnership have had a good time of things recently here at Sandown with a 30% strike rate in the last year.
Vallers is the only runner in the field not arriving after a victory but the Alan King runner put in a solid effort when 2nd at Ludlow last time and appeals as the type who should appreciate this stiffer test and should not be underestimated.
Selection: Sending Love
15.00 2m7½f (2m7f98y) Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Pertemps Hurdle Series Qualifier) (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4yo+)
Storm Arising and Potters Hedger finished 1-2 at Lingfield recently and there is likely to be little between the pair once more.
The two who catch the eye, however, are the handicap debutants Farrants Way and Straight Swap.
The latter has plenty to find based on his novice hurdle form but there was more promise in his run at Lingfield last month and the significant step up in trip looks likely to suit.
Preference however is for the Venetia Williams trained Farrants Way. He was a winner on debut over hurdles when last seen 272 days ago but the lengthy lay off is normally no problem for the yard’s runners, he is open to bags of improvement still and is expected to prove much better than his opening mark of 127 in time.
Selection: Farrants Way
15.35 2m4f (2m3f173y) Listen To Weighed-In Podcast On Betfair Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Challenger Mares’ Series Qualifiier) (Class 3) (3yo+ 0-130)
A chance is taken on Miss Honey Rider returning to the form she showed earlier this year in novice events.
The Warren Greatrex showed a really good attitude when making all to win a maiden hurdle on heavy ground so we know she should appreciate likely conditions.
She can be excused her poor effort on seasonal return this season and it looks as if connections have been waiting to return her to this type of test. Ruby Yeats and Emmpressive Lady were both last time out winners who should go close once again.
Selection: Miss Honey Ryder (Next Best)
14.05 2m3f (2m3f48y) Download The tote Placepot App Novices’ Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4yo+)
This looks likely to only concern The Big Breakaway and Bold Plan. The former drops back in trip while the Ewan Williams trained runner steps up in distance so tactics could be interesting.
That said the Colin Tizzard runner really should have to much for his main opponent and is to continue his chasing education with another victory here.
Selection: The Big Breakaway
14:40 2m3f (2m3f48y) tote.co.uk Home Of The Placepot Handicap Chase (Class 3) (4yo+ 0-140)
Severano should put in a bold bid to follow up his victory at Sandown last month.
He was making his chase debut that day so should have more to come over the larger obstacles and a 4lb rise for that victory looks fair.
The mare Quick Wave was last seen going close here back in March. The drop back in trip will be no problem especially on seasonal return and with her yard continuing in fine form 30% strike rate last 14 days she is taken to make a winning return.
Selection: Quick Wave (NAP)
15.15 3m6½f (3m6f153y) Close Brothers Handicap Chase (Class 3) (4yo+ 0-125)
Johnny Farrelly has his team in fine order at the moment with 7 winners in the last 30 days and his Bermeo looks like he could add to the trainer’s tally here.
His 2nd place finish at Cheltenham recently suggested this type of extreme test could suit and a 4lb rise should not be an issue. Sizing Cusiamno and Big Difference are lightly raced over fences still, with both likely to prove better than their current ratings this season.
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