Alan Thompson has two selections today from Sandown...
"this stiff track over this trip looks an ideal opportunity to start his chasing career"
Champagne Court can make a winning start over fences
Jeremy Scott's Champagne Court was a smart hurdler and finished fourth in the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham Festival. The six-year-old stepped up on that form to record his career best on his return to action, finishing runner up in the Silver Trophy handicap hurdle at Chepstow. He is now focused on chasing, a discipline that he should excel at coming from the family of 1995 Grand National winner Royal Athlete. Although he is 5lb higher than his festival fourth, this stiff track over this trip looks an ideal opportunity to start his chasing career and I expect him to make a triumphant debut over the bigger obstacles.
It's a quality contest though and with the likes of Philip Hobbs and Paul Nicholls also having runners it's a race that could well be of interest over the course of the jumps season. The Hobbs team run At Its Own Expense who made a good return to action when finishing second over hurdles from 4lbs lower in September. The concern is he continued to jump to the left that day which would be a concern for Richard Johnson this way round on his chase debut.
Envoye Special is the charge for the Nicholls team but my concern for him is that he didn't finish well over two miles at Kempton in a handicap chase, he has had the wind operation since and maybe that will help but stepping up another half a mile could be asking a bit too much.
Doinwhatshelikes can start to repay that hefty fee
The concluding race on the card is an interesting bumper and Paul Nicholls runs Doinwhatshelikes who is well bred and connections thought was worth parting with £82,000 after she finished second in an Irish point. This is her debut under rules and for a powerful yard, she also receives weight allowance from the field, I am expecting her to be tough to beat in what looks a weak contest.
The current market leader is Venetia Williams' experienced Frenchy Du Large, the four-year-old has finished second on both her starts last season and I think she might fill that position again today.
2019 (prior to this week) : -7.65pts
This week so far...
Staked: 4 pts
Returned: 4.33 pts
2019 P&L -7.32pts
2018 P&L +82.29pts
2017 P&L +53.30pts
2016 P&L +15.23pts