The Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle headlines another good-looking Saturday of racing action, and as usual Nick Luck has cast his eye over proceedings.


MOONLIGHTER gets the nod at 13/2 in a really competitive two miler to kick off Sandown’s TV card on Saturday (1.50pm). He finished a bit weakly at Cheltenham last time, but had travelled zestfully enough in that stronger race to suggest he was running into form. He will much prefer this track and ground, and the race should be run nicely to suit. With Tom Scudamore apparently deserting him to ride Numitor, Harry Cobden looks a very suitable replacement.

SHALLWEHAVEONEMORE is no more than a sporting alternative to Constitution Hill in the Tolworth (2.25pm), but I don’t fancy backing the favourite at 4/11, so I’ll take a chance that Gary Moore’s Ascot runner up can take a step forward. He raced upside down that day, pulling too hard, making a brisk move in putting the race to bed smartly, only to wilt when hitting the front. He showed some real class through the mid part of the race and, if switching off better on what should be suitable ground, he can give the perceived superstar something to chew over at 8/1.

WANDRIN STAR can follow up his win in the qualifier by taking the veterans’ final (3.00pm) at 8/1. Showing the benefit of a breathing operation, he found loads for pressure to beat several of today’s rivals (form well franked since) and certainly won’t mind a greater test of stamina in the likely conditions. Gwencily Berbas, third to him that day, looked really good at Exeter last time and may be the most potent threat.

HERMES BOY looks as though he could be well ahead of the posse in the last (3.35pm). He’ll likely be shortish, but he’s a decent favourite at 5/2, particularly as his Exeter victory has been so well advertised since. Even prior to that win, he had shaped with loads of promise behind the talented I Like to Move It, and the handicapper will surely be frightened that a mark of 124 is nowhere near enough.


COUPDEBOL is the fancy in Wincanton’s low key TV opener (1.30pm) at 8/1. This is a pretty uninspiring event, yet the selection is a horse with clear ability and no mileage. His comeback in a warm novice at Newbury suggested that a little handicap like this should easily be within his grasp for a yard that is quite good at placing handicap debutants.

DESQUE DE L’ISLE is the suggestion in the two mile handicap (2.05pm) at 11/2. He’s no great shakes, but he’s definitely improved a good bit this season for a breathing operation, running to a consistent level in three starts. Slightly softer ground is the order of the day – which he gets here – and I like Ned Fox (who has ridden him before) claiming the full 10 pounds.

CROSSING THE BAR should be good enough to be competitive off a low mark in the 2m5f handicap hurdle (2.40pm). He was a fairly useful handicapper on the Flat for Sir Michael Stoute and galloped on resolutely to win at Carlisle in the summer. He has shaped promisingly in two spins over hurdles, and should be ready to run a big race now at 4/1.

STOLEN SILVER (9/4) ought to be able to win the TV finale at Wincanton (3.15pm). He’s a pretty reliable customer who boxed on as well as could be expected behind Edwardstone at Sandown. Against some seriously reluctant heroes here, he should be able to boss this much easier race on ground that won’t be an issue.