Celebration Chase promises epic Sandown Jumps finale

Jonbon, Sandown

Sandown is poised for an epic season climax as Jumps finale takes place on Saturday.

With the Punchestown Festival to come in mere days, first, the weekend brings together the best at home and across the Irish Sea.

Kitty’s Light looks to defend the crown in the bet365 Gold Cup, but beforehand, the Celebration Chase is set to send pulses racing.

With El Fabiolo and Jonbon on show, who will tee up a potential double in the coming days?


Fitting finale

The culmination of National Hunt season has, perhaps, left the best for last.

With Cheltenham and Aintree now in the books, Punchestown and Sandown are left to grab the limelight.

Next Tuesday’s William Hill Champion Chase is being billed as what could be one of the all-time great Grade 1 clashes.

Certainly on paper, it is hard to argue that point.

So much so, that many entries have opted to swerve this race, including Queen Mother Champion Chase victor, Captain Guinness.

However, the field is no less stellar this weekend in Surrey, with one of jump racing’s biggest rivalries renewed.


Hors d’oeuvre

For El Fabiolo and Jonbon, having waited a entire calendar year to face off again, the duo are set to lock horns twice more in just four days.

Both will be looking to remedy their previous meeting at Cheltenham.

In the case of El Fabiolo, Willie Mullins’ 7yo tasted defeat for the first time since the 2022 Topham Novices’ Chase at Aintree.

HIs conqueror on that day, Jonbon was a victim of the malaise that plagued Nicky Henderson’s yard at Cheltenham.

Yet, after victory in the Melling Chase, Jonbon is buoyed.

Ahead of race day however, El Fabiolo is a strong 8/11 favourite with BetVictor.


Edwardstone, Editeur outsiders

Away from the top two in the market, the hopes of the other five runners cannot be overlooked.

Particularly, the rather fallen figure – quite literally – of Edwardstone.

Despite tumbling late on in the Champion Chase, the 10yo had one of his best spins for a while and but for his fall may have pushed on.

Having won on heavy ground at Newbury in February, Alan King’s gelding has travelled best on soft or good to soft ground.

After a chilly but largely dry week, the rain is expected to arrive on Saturday morning.

That could be music to Edwardstone’s ears.

Indeed, statistically, if we examine his five-race winning streak during the 2021-22 season, the going was either soft or GS.

The form is not there, but Edwardstone may yet be in the mood for a lively season swansong.

Meanwhile, Editeur Du Gite has struggled with the weights this season.

However, a fourth-placed finisher in this contest last year, the Preston Family-owned runner will be keen for rain to stay away.

The other three runners are Elixir Du Nutz, Boothill and Nube Negra.

The latter and former represent big price plays, with Elixir Du Nutz a sensational victor of the Clarence House Chase in January, proving too strong for Jonbon.

Could history repeat at Sandown? A 22/1 shot that day, his price is more than double at 50/1 with William Hill.

Finally, Nube Negra has gone winless in over 18 months, but is once again amongst familiar faces this weekend.

As the battle for trainers’ title comes to a head, against rival Mullins, could Dan Skelton’s gelding figure?


The bet365 Celebration Chase takes place during Jumps finale Day at Sandown this Saturday, race time 15:00 BST.

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