HARAMBE should have the last laugh.
He’s taken a while to get the hang of hurdling after getting brought down at the first on his debut.
Wins at Kempton and Market Rasen show he’s now firmly in the groove and his smart bumper form makes him potentially well treated for his first run in a handicap.
Getaway Trump was turned over at odds-on at Kelso in March having finished a good fourth in the rearranged Betfair Hurdle the previous month. There was a lot to like about his return to form when an easy winner at Ayr a couple of weeks ago but he does have to give plenty of weight away to some unexposed horses.
Humble Hero is one of those. Dan Skelton’s hope was smart on the Flat and he’s taken well to hurdling. Last month’s Newbury win was pretty straightforward and he looks to have more improvement in him.
Well-bred Petit Palais – a half-brother to 2000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold – has no weight for his handicap debut. He looked better than the half-length winning distance at Stratford last month and I expect him to run well.
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IN the Bet365 Oaksey Chase I think Cobra can.
In-form Dan Skelton’s COBRA DE MAI bolted up at Cheltenham last week. That was his first run over 3m2f and he clearly had no problem with it but I’m sure the return to today’s shorter will suit him just as well.
In fact, his proven stamina for further will come in handy as they look certain to go a sizzling pace in the early stages. The decent ground is the key to Cobra De Mai and he gets weight from most of his rivals.
Definitly Red has plenty of class but I just can’t see him being quick enough. It’s more likely he’ll be taken off his feet and then it will be very hard to get into the race.
Charbel won’t have any problem on that score. The main concern with him is that he’s likely to be taken on for the lead and he can sometimes sulk when he’s not getting is own way.
Go Conquer is one of those who likes to race up with the pace. His stamina gave way after running well in the Grand National and his previous win in the Sky Bet Chase gives him a right chance on ground he loves.
San Benedeto is another with conditions in his favour. He looks over-priced for a chaser who won a Grade 1 as a novice a couple of years ago.
Templegate's TV tips
- 1.50 Sandown – HARAMBE (Click here to see the best odds)
- 2.25 Sandown – COBRA DE MAI (Click here to see the best odds)
- 3.00 Sandown – ALTIOR (Click here to see the best odds)
- 3.35 Sandown – PRESENT MAN (Click here to see the best odds)
- 2.05 Haydock – LORD OBERON (Click here to see the best odds)
- 2.45 Leicester – EQTIDAAR (Click here to see the best odds)
IT’S impossible to oppose ALTIOR in the Bet365 Celebration Chase.
He looks sure to better the record he shares with Big Bucks’ for winning 18 consecutive jumps races.
His remarkable unbeaten run since switching from bumpers includes two Champion Chases. He’s going for his third win in this Grade 1 prize so there’s no doubt he is one of the truly great two-mile chasers.
What I love about Altior is that he’s always so strong where it matters. Quite often he doesn’t travel the best but he always finds far more than his rivals in the finish. This track is made for him and the decent ground probably brings out the best in him.
Sceau Royal ran a cracker when third behind Altior in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham. He’s got course form so had to set the standard for the forecast spot but I’m willing to chance God’s Own.
He was pulled up lame when still in with a shout in the Champion Chase but he didn’t run particularly well at Aintree. Both those races were run on ground softer than ideal and Tom George’s 11-year-old is at his best on right-handed tracks when the going is decent.
As a three-time Grade 1 winner he’s always had plenty of class and he must have a great chance of following Altior home in his record-breaking lap of honour.
TEN TO FOLLOW Don’t miss Templegate’s ten horses to follow for the 2019 Flat season
PRESENT MAN should give Bryony Frost a happy return in the Bet365 Gold Cup.
The popular rider has been out injured with a broken collar bone for more than a month but her comeback could well go with a big bang.
She gets on really well with Present Man. The pair teamed up to be third behind Step Back in this contest 12 months ago when the ground was softer than ideal.
They landed the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton for the second year running in November with an impressive display of jumping and galloping. That’s just what you need around Sandown and he looks at decent bet at tasty odds.
If Step Back turned up in the same form as he did when bolting up by 13 lengths in this race last year he would have to have a great chance. The way he jumped on the front end before storming clear was the performance of a class stayer but foot problems have held him back since. He gave himself no chance by continually jumping out to the right in the Grand National and he’s a chancy bet after three disappointing runs this season.
Rock The Kasbah was runner-up in this last season. He didn’t really take to the Aintree fences in the National. He was struggling when he was brought down at the 18th but his Cheltenham win in November on decent ground gives him claims.
The Young Master lifted this prize in 2016 but he’s not cut much ice in two subsequent tries. He’s fairly weighted and arrives having run well when third in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham.
THERE should be cheers for LORD OBERON in the Betway Old Boston Handicap.
He ended last season on a high after missing the summer. After twice going close in sprints he stepped up to today’s 7f trip to see of Cold Stare on soft ground at Doncaster.
It’s not hard to expect him to keep progressing this year and the forecast rain would be right up his street.
Wahash put in one of his better efforts when third behind Petrus at Bath last week. His record suggests he’s not certain to reproduce that effort and he probably wouldn’t want the ground to turn too soft.
Safe Voyage is more interesting. He has been a prolific winner over the last couple of years and he’s got a great record when fresh. The handicapper has done his best to keep up with him but he should be involved in the finish.
Masham Star will pop up at some point but he’s run two shockers this season.
BY Eq, there’s a good ‘un in the EBF Stallions King Richard III Stakes.
EQTIDAAR showed he has bags of class when swooping late to nail subsequent Group 1 winner Sands Of Mali in the Commonwealth Cup at last year’s Royal Ascot.
His two runs in top sprints later in the season didn’t go to plan but he remains a horse of great potential.
The step up to 7f should suit him even better and it’s good to see Sir Michael Stoute having an unusually fine start to the season.
This Listed prize should be his for the taking if he’s anywhere near ready to go first time out.
Hey Gaman also has Group 1 form in the book having gone within a neck of landing the French 2000 Guineas last year. That was over 1m but he’s got plenty of speed so the return to 7f should be in his favour.
Donjuan Triumphant – runner-up in this race on heavy ground 12 months ago – will have his work cut out to defy the penalty he picked up for winning a Doncaster Listed prize on the final day of the turf season in November. At least the forecast rain would help his chance.
Laugh A Minute was fourth in that 6f Doncaster contest. Both his wins have also come at that track but he does seem versatile regarding ground conditions. With Roger Varian in such good form he cannot be totally ruled out.
Cardsharp was more miss than hit last season and he’s had his limitations exposed on the all-weather in recent weeks.
6.15 Chatham House
6.45 Fujaira Prince
7.15 Rowland Ward
8.15 Dancing Rave
2.05 Lord Oberon
2.40 Pour Me A Drink
4.20 Chingachgook (nap)
2.15 Bravo Faisal
3.25 Moonlight Spirit
4.30 Molten Lava
5.00 Just You Wait
5.35 Ramesses (treble)
1.45 Rodnee Tee
2.20 Swiss Storm
2.55 Gin In The Inn
4.00 King’s Advice
5.05 Key To Power
2.25 Cobra De Mai
3.35 Present Man (nb)
4.10 On The Blind Side
4.40 Diable De Sivola
5.15 A Hare Breath
5.30 Cappananty Con
6.30 Casina Di Notte
7.30 Crystal King
8.00 Harry Callahan