By News Team
Last Updated: 23rd April 2021
It’s time to bring a close to the Jumps season in the UK and we’re in for a super season finale at Sandown on Saturday, while there’s good action on the Flat from both Haydock and Leicester.
Nick Luck has fancies across both codes.
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HERBIERS can win the first ITV race (1.55pm) on the final day of the season at Sandown on Saturday to cap a fine campaign for his trainer Ollie Greenall. He impressed with his attitude when beating Royaume Uni at Ascot last time and, although he is a bigger price, I fancy him to confirm the form, as he took it up soon enough that day and lost concentration at the final flight. The drying ground will be fine, and I’m a sucker for an experienced four-year-old with the weight allowances against the older horses.
FRODON should win the Oaksey Chase (2.30pm) for Bryony Frost. There can be funny results at this time of the season, and there’s no doubting he had a pretty tough race in the Gold Cup, but he has had plenty of time to freshen up and has an exceptional record on good ground, routinely posting 170+ RPRs when it’s on the quicker side. His jumping will obviously put him in good stead here, which is the Achilles heel of his main rival Mister Fisher on the evidence of his last two runs.
GREANETEEN makes a bit of appeal for the Nicholls/Frost combination in the Celebration Chase (3.05pm), particularly with the returning Altior and Put The Kettle On in the mix to make the market. This less demanding test of stamina could easily see him reverse the Cheltenham placings with the De Bromhead mare and, while similar comments could be made about Sceau Royal after his luckless Cheltenham run, the selection is certainly open to more improvement.
IRISH PROPHECY has always threatened to be a smart horse and his big prize might be right around the corner in the Gold Cup Handicap Chase (3.40pm). A horse with the pace and class to thrash Champ in a bumper, life hasn’t been plain sailing for him, but he’s reinvented himself as a competent chaser who looks like he needs a trip (and might just be pretty well handicapped as a result). I like his prep for this, his liking for fast ground and his trainer’s record at targeting at a decent prize (plus her good recent form).
POGO is my idea of the winner of Leicester’s small field feature (2.10pm). He was a much-improved horse on a sound surface last summer and managed an excellent third in a Group One and second in the Challenge Stakes (big drifter, ground too soft). He remains unpenalised, comes out much the best at these weights and Lord Campari will have to be pretty smart to beat him.
FOX CHAMPION can spring back to life in the feature handicap (2:50pm) at Haydock. A pretty smart horse for Richard Hannon, he still showed flashes of ability last season, including when last here behind Space Blues and Safe Voyage (only beaten 5 lengths). He was asked to race on the unsuitable ground and over the wrong trip a few times thereafter but has ideal conditions off a lower mark for this step back into handicap company, and his new trainer is in excellent form.