Harry Fry improver can land the odds in Big Esher Handicap
As we begin to glimpse Cheltenham on the horizon, excitement is certainly building and we don’t have to be disappointed with this weekend’s appetiser. The pick of Saturday’s racing comes from Sandown and the ground has been covered for most of the week so the fixture is under no threat of cancellation and the ground shouldn’t be too bad at all.
Polamco Can Land Hat Trick In Grade 3 Hurdle
The Grade 3 handicap hurdle at 3pm has a nice punting look about it – competitive but not impossible to figure out. It would take a decent market move for Polamco not to start favourite in his bid for a hat trick. He’s lightly raced, getting better with every run, will enjoy the ground, should be suited to this course and is probably still well handicapped having only gone up 4lbs for his latest win. The 7/2 on offer isn’t huge value but he’s definitely the most likely winner of this race.
Saffron Wells looks underpriced at 13/2 on the balance of his form and since he is only 3lbs better off with the favourite for a 2.75 length beating two starts ago it seems highly unlikely that form will be reversed. The horse likely to give Polamco most to do could well be 9/1 shot Mijhaar. He was rated as high as 109 on the flat and looks to have improved his chances of landing a big race over hurdles since being stepped up in trip two starts ago. He does find it hard to win though, he’s been beaten favourite in 3 of his last 6 runs and perhaps doesn’t quite put it all in. Polamco should have the beating of what doesn’t look a great field but watch out for Mijhaar who could be a good bet to follow him home.
Saint To Go Marching In For Paul Nicholls
The class race of the day takes place 35 minutes earlier as 5 line up in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase. It must be one of the most competitive 5 runner races in a long time and Grumeti looks the only runner that couldn’t possibly start the race as favourite. Champagne West might not be quite speedy enough for this and his jumping is a slight concern whilst Gitane Du Berlais has shown his best form on very testing ground. That could leave it between Irish Saint and Splash of Ginge and it’s worth remembering that this time last year the pair met at Newbury. Splash of Ginge came out on top but only because he was in receipt of a huge amount of weight. On level terms here, at a trip that probably serves Irish Saint better, it is Paul Nicholls who can get his first win in this race since 2009 with Irish Saint.
Brick Can Build On Recent Run Over Course And Distance
The 2m handicap chase at 1.50 should be an exciting contest and it will be popular with punters should all 8 runners stand their ground. French Opera is the class act in the field but he has to give away lumps of weight and although he ran well in a similar contest last time, he might just find one or two too good here. Brick Red’s two runs behind Mr Mole including a second here earlier in the month stand out a bit in this race and against slightly lesser opposition he can go one better and win at a backable price.