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Horse Racing

Sandown Park – Saturday 4th December

Saturday 4th December 13:50

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith gives his rundown of the action at Sandown Park on Saturday, and recommends two bets in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at 1.50.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Edwardstone 4/1 each-way (3 places)
Sandown Park 1.50 - Sat 4th Dec
Place Bet
Do Your Job 14/1 each-way (3 places)
Sandown Park 1.50 - Sat 4th Dec
Place Bet

Date of Tips: 03/12/2021

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (10:35 03/12/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

It was particularly galling to see Blaklion win a veteran’s chase at Haydock on Wednesday, jumping with such brilliance and galloping with such enthusiasm, that it is hard not to imagine the run for our money that he would have given us at 20/1 in Saturday’s Becher Chase at Aintree at 2.40.

However, having had the two darts at the Becher board as early as last weekend, we are still standing with 20/1 each-way about Vieux Lion Rouge – who is now available at 12/1 with William Hill for a massive 7 places, to win the race for an incredible third time. I genuinely think he can…

Aside from that captivating race at Aintree, the race that has most floated my betting boat on Saturday is the Close Brothers Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at 1.50 at Sandown Park.

The Henry VIII is always an exciting race over the same course and distance as the feature 2m Grade 1 Tingle Creek, and serves as a tasty hors d’oeuvre to the big one 35 minutes later – in which I think Hitman can significantly outrun his price by the way.

Look at some of the 5-year-olds that Paul Nicholls has run in the race in the last 20-odd years, and wonder in awe. It reads like a ‘who’s who’ of the best 2m chasers – Flagship Uberalles, Master Minded, Twist Magic and Kauto Star namely.

Hitman could burst on to the 2m scene, and at 14/1 he shouldn’t be anywhere as big as that. Of course, a certain Chacun Pour Soi looms large, but Nicholls clearly isn’t running scared.

The main angle with the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase is to take on the general 6/4 favourite Third Time Lucki, who I have a lot of time for, and was clearly very impressive visually in winning his two chase starts to date, but could be vulnerable here.

Dig a little deeper, and there are reasons to think that he’s beatable. What could see him vanquished is a potent combination of a whole host of more competitive rivals, a stiff track that may not play to his strengths late on, and the presence of a couple of rivals who have already beaten Third Time Lucki over hurdles, and could themselves prove to be even better over fences as well.

The main angle to betting on this race has to be to play with Betfred, who offer 3 places for each-way bets, or take advantage of various extra place terms, that you can often find being offered more widely by other firms. That Betfred are the only bookmaker advertising this concession at the outright prices makes them the chosen one.

Step forward the main pick, which is Alan King’s Edwardstone, who at 4/1 each-way with Betfred, was mightily impressive in a good time when winning at Warwick 17 days ago. Putting behind him a couple of unfortunate experiences over fences before that in no uncertain terms, he is a horse that is learning fast and has displayed an admirable level of resilience in doing so.

Being brought down at Warwick 12 days before he won there could easily have put his demeanour on the back foot. Not a bit of it. Edwardstone jumped and travelled well, which will be required commodities around Sandown Park, and he can confirm superiority over Third Time Lucki, as he was a head in front of him in last season’s County Hurdle.

Edwardstone could easily make up into a tougher and more resolute chaser than his old rival Third Time Lucki, and at 4/1 each-way with Betfred should be much nearer the favourite in terms of price, and so is the main selection in the race.

However, there is another horse who has a verdict over Third Time Lucki in his locker over hurdles, and that came in a Grade 1 novice hurdle on a track, Aintree, that really should have suited Third Time Lucki more.

Do Your Job signed off last season with a cracking 2nd in the Grade 1 Top Novices’ Hurdle, with Third Time Lucki back in a well beaten fourth. Take one look at Do Your Job, and if you weren’t of the physiological impression that he was going to be a better chaser, then you’ve probably got your eyes closed!

A fine physical specimen, he quickly went some way to confirming that chasing was always going to be his game when winning the Warwick race that Edwardstone was brought down in.

It would have been interesting to see how events had panned out if not for the mishap, and there is now way that Do Your Job should be outsider of the field of 7 here.

At 14/1 each-way with Betfred for those all-important three places, Michael Scudamore’s hunk of a horse can certainly make some ripples in this Grade 1 pond.

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