Sandown: Gold Cup Handicap Chase Preview

Flying Angel is fancied by Alan Marron to run well at Sandown on Saturday

Alan Marron previews the Sandown Gold Cup (3:35pm), one of two £150,000 races on Sandown’s Saturday card

Sandown hosts the final day of the 2018/2019 jumps season on Saturday, where Altior is among the potential stars on show.

The £150,000 Gold Cup Handicap Chase is one of the features on a day that carries £580,000 in prize-money.

In this piece, I will take a look at some of the trends for the race over recent years and try to find some value from an each-way perspective. (Ed: Alan gave Snugborough Hall, 4th at 14/1, as an each-way choice in Monday’s Irish Grand National.)

  • 12/12 had at least 3 previous runs that season
  • 11/12 weighed 11st or less
  • 11/12 Ran within the last 46 days
  • 10/12 Rated 135 or higher
  • 9/12 were aged between 7 and 9

Check out our betting on Saturday’s Sandown Gold Cup

Ballydine (18/1)

Prior to pulling up in the Midlands National last time out, this horse had some solid form-lines over staying distances this season.

He ran a very good race when third to Wakanda in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock, where he blundered badly three out and stayed on well to rally on the run in.

He is also a course winner over fences from February 2018 when he beat Holly Bush Henry well from a prominent position off a rating of 131. He is now rated 139 and this race should be well within his compass.

All of his good form has been on soft ground and, with rain forecast this weekend, the ground could turn out to be on the soft side of good and could suit him perfectly.

If we go back to his novice hurdle campaign we will see a very strong run when second to Barters Hill in the River Don Novice Hurdle at Doncaster in 2016. His chasing this season has been a little suspect but should he iron out some jumping errors, we could see a better performance.

Flying Angel (22/1)

The last time this horse ran at Sandown he was victorious in the 2016 Imperial Cup. He went on to finish second in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle that season and just missed out on the bonus for winning both races.

This season, he finished a very creditable sixth behind Beware The Bear at Cheltenham before again finishing sixth behind Cadmium over the Grand National fences in the ‘Topham’ at Aintree.

Ground being on the soft side of good will be in his favour and his handicap mark over fences is very lenient compared to what he has achieved over hurdles.

His double-figure price looks a decent one on what he has achieved and could give us some solid each-way value in a very competitive race.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has been in solid form over the last few weeks and he should have this horse primed to run a a similarly solid race.

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article