Friday Racing Analysis
Tingle Creek race days are some of the most anticipated and important days on the Sandown racing calendar. As many of us look to unwind for the festive season, the horse racing jumps season is getting in full swing as we move towards the King George on Boxing Day.
Today at Sandown all eyes are on The Grade 2 Winter Novices’ Hurdle, a springboard for the winner that could secure a place at the Cheltenham festival next March. It’s not just the horses who will be hoping for a boost as jockeys and trainers regroup after the Hennessy Gold Cup meeting at Newbury and build towards the next big meetings.
A Step Up In Class For Today’s Outsider Tip
Gutsy Shantou Bob showed the class of a grade 1 winner during his latest outing in the novice hurdle qualifier at Lingfield seeing off the competition by an impressive margin of 8 lengths. Also picking up two win at Ffos Las this year, he passed the post first over a similar distance just over a month ago.The Grade 2 Winter Novices’ Hurdle is a step up in class for the six-year-old Warren Greatrex trained gelding, however the soft ground on the hurdle course should be to his liking.
In the hands of Gavin Sheehan who has a win under his belt at Market Rasen this week, the gelding is hoping to prove himself in better company with a win that could pave the way to a larger festival birth later in the season.
Shantou Bob is worth some exposure at 9/2
Barry Geraghty and Nicky Henderson
A formidable force to be reckoned with on any racecourse is the duo of Barry Geraghty and Nicky Henderson. The Irish jockey’s notable wins this year include More of That in the World Hurdle and Jezki and Cheltenham Champions Hurdle, however if you look back further Geraghty and Henderson have had back to back wins in 2012/2013 Hennessy Gold Cup and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. With four opportunities to add to their tally at Sandown today, including Vyta Du Roc who has already won a grade 2 at Cheltenham, they could be the ones to watch as we move into the festive season.
Today’s free horse racing tip:
Vyta Du Roc Sandown 13:55
The Nicky Henderson trained five-year-old will have a battle to keep his winning record intact in the Winter Novices’ Hurdle, with challenges coming from all angles. Struggling to win last time out on heavy ground at Cheltenham in the hands of Irish wizard Barry Geraghty, he has the duo Paul Nicholls and Sam Twiston-Davis to contend with again this afternoon not to mention Shantou Bob. Easing to wins at Hexham and Uttoexter earlier this year on good ground and a heavily priced favourite, he seems to have the stature and class and could be a one to watch as we move further into the season.
Vyta Du Roc is well worth backing as the only runner likely to pip Shantou Bob at 2/1