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Sandon completes the Easter Pointing treble for Saturday

27-March-2024 16:00
in General
by Rory Alkin

The third of the Easter fixtures in the West Mercian area is the North Staffordshire, which takes place at Sandon on Easter Saturday. There are seventy-seven entries for the six races starting at 1.00, writes Rory Alkin.

In the opening Members race, four of the eleven are trained by Hannah Roach and her choice of Iskandar Pecos, The Creadan Rogue, Time Leader or Willewonga should be good enough to win.

The Conditions Race is an interesting contest with twelve horses entered from five different regions. The best of them appear to be Bothwell Bridge, Paper Mill, Perfect Attitude and Soldier of Love. Soldier of Love is trained by Jo Priest but has not run for eighteen months so he may need the run. However, he was a top-class winning chaser with Paul Nicholls. Perfect Attitude won his first point at Bangor earlier in the month, having previously won over hurdles for Gordon Elliott. The former Nicky Henderson trained winner Bothwell Bridge, now in the hands of Kelly Morgan, stayed on well to win a similar race at Guilsborough. The eight-year-old Michael Kehoe - trained Paper Mill has won a Maiden, two Restricteds and an Intermediate in his last five races and should be competitive. In a very open contest, slight preference is given to Bothwell Bridge.

In the Open Maiden the four of the nineteen entries with the best form on paper are Catchim, Ildefeel du Livet, Whatwasigoingtosay and Whatnowcato. The five-year-old Whatnowcato still had every chance when falling at the last when a length down on Grangeclare Diego at the Brocklesby. Ildefeel du Livet was runner-up at Garthorpe, before losing his action and pulling up when clear at the fourteenth at Bangor in the race won by Subtle Fortune. Whatwasigoingtosay led over the last at High Easter and finished a close-up third to For One Night Only. The Clive Boultbee-Brooks - trained Catchim has been steadily improving, was runner-up to Carryonaway at Larkhill and is given a sporting chance to succeed here.

In the Mixed Open the best of the twelve entries to concentrate on are Camdonian, Dundrum Wood, Ragnar Lodbrok and The Creadan Rogue. The Creadan Rogue won an Intermediate at the start of the season and was given too much to do when runner-up at Bangor. Dundrum Wood has good win and placed Open form. Camdonian has won all five points contested over the past two seasons but has yet to compete in an Open. Ragnar Lodbrok is a prolific Open winner and may have enough to offer despite his seven pounds penalty.

The Conditions Race over two miles and five furlongs is for horses that have only won up to Restricted level in the past thirty months. Of the ten entries, the best ones to concentrate on are Caballo Diablo, Column of Fire, Franigane and Trevada. Column of Fire had good winning form for Gordon Elliott a couple of seasons ago and ran with promise in his first point when nine lengths fourth to Shang Tang at Bangor earlier this month. Franigane has placed form in similar races and was third to Forest Chimes in a Hunter Chase at Stratford. Caballo Diablo won a Restricted at Cocklebarrow before pulling up on his latest run. Trevada was third to Caballo Diablo but has since won two Restricted races for Francesca Poste and this former bumper winner for Oliver Sherwood may have most to offer in this race.

In the concluding flat race for four- and five-year-olds, only two of the thirteen entries have previously raced. With no form to go on, it’s a race to watch for future potential stars.

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4m SE Cheltenham, nr junction of A40 and A436 (Exit 11A, M5)


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