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The Mandarin’s Sandown Racecard for 27th April 2024

The Mandarin’s Sandown Park Racecard for Saturday 27th April

bet365 Novices’ Championship Final Handicap Hurdle 1.50
Secret Squirrel
Hughie Morrison can take the opener on the Sandown Park card with Secret Squirrel. After winning at Kempton Park back in November on his seasonal reappearance, he’s run well at Newbury behind the smart Jeriko Du Reponet and at Taunton behind the equally useful Fire Flyer. Returned to that venue after a spin on the all-weather, he had a confidence boosting win and looks to be on a good mark for this Handicap Final. Sure to go close, and super each-way value

bet365 Oaksey Chase (Grade 2) 2.25
Easy Game
A chance is taken on Easy Game after an odd off-day in the Melling Chase at Aintree two weeks back. He looked laboured in that race which came after a long break, so it’s taken on trust that he was in need of the run, and these are calmer waters than the Grade 1 Melling. Willie Mullins runs only Easy Game in this Grade 2, where he’s flat out for the Trainers’ Championship, and that sends out a big message

bet365 Celebration Chase (Grade 1) 3.00
El Fabiolo (nap)
A much anticipated rematch between Jonbon, Edwardstone and El Fabiolo, the three best two mile chasers around on either side of the Irish Sea. Jonbon lines up fresh from a win in the Melling Chase at Aintree, confirming that Nicky Henderson’s Seven Barrows yard had emerged from an underwhelming spell in the run up to the Cheltenham Festival, so there’s sure to be plenty of home support for this full brother to the brilliant Douvan. However, El Fabiolo made an uncharacteristic error in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham, and Willie Mullins will be after more Grade 1 honours for his previously unbeaten chaser. Edwardstone is a game opponent, but might want more cut in the ground, so El Fabiolo gets the nudge for the feature

bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) 3.35
Minella Cocooner
It may pay to side with Minella Cocooner for the Gold Cup Chase on the final day of jumps racing this side of the Irish Sea. This eight year old Flemensfirth gelding remains unexposed at this trip, having had just the one outing at three and a half miles or over, and did go well for a long way when taking on the marathon trip in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. Home hopes lie with Kitty’s Light, who will still be going strong when plenty of others have thrown in the towel, but Minella Cocooner will like this ground and has more to offer at these extreme distances

bet365 Select Hurdle (Grade 2) 4.10
Impaire Et Passe (nb)
A good renewal in store as Aintree Hurdle winner Impaire Et Passe lines up against Langer Dan once more. With Dan Skelton chasing down Willie Mullins in the British National Hunt Trainers’ Championship, he has to hope that the change of scenery and a firmer surface will swing things in Langer Dan’s way. There was less than a length between these two in the Aintree Hurdle, with Bob Olinger splitting the pair, so not an awful lot to make up to reverse those places. Willie Mullins has a decent second string in Sir Gerhard, while Henry de Bromhead’s Ballyadam, who like Sir Gerhard sports the Cheveley Park Stud silks, adds to the strength in depth of the raiding party. Paul Nicholls sends out the unexposed Blueking D’oroux, but it’s Impaire Et Passe that’s the one to beat, assuming he’ll act on spring ground this quick

bet365 Josh Gifford Novices’ Handicap Chase 4.45
Outlaw Peter
The hat-trick seeking Outlaw Peter can at least bring some consolation to Paul Nicholls, as he relinquishes his Trainers’ Championship title at Sandown Park. Better than ever when landing the Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase at Ayr last week, he was full of running going through the line so makes plenty of appeal despite the quick turnaround, with Freddie Gingell taking up the reins and claiming a useful 5lbs. At least the home team can score on a big day for the Irish raiding party, and Outlaw Peter is their best chance

bet365 Handicap Hurdle 5.20
Paul Nicholls also has a decent chance in the closer, where he is double-handed with Red Risk lining up alongside the selection, Emailandy. He showed plenty of gusto to pull away going up the hill at Plumpton last month, and is the pick of the pair from the Ditcheat yard on jockey bookings. Third when last on this track in a Premier Handicap, with the re-opposing Pic Roc just a length and a half ahead in second, Emailandy has been progressive enough this season and can finish off with a win here

The Mandarin

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