It’s the final jumps fixture of the season, and what a day it could turn out to be. Kitty’s Light reappears in the bet365 Gold Cup, Hewick aims to end his season on a high and Jonbon makes an appearance too. Here are four to look out for on a smashing Sandown card.
1:05 – Novices’ Championship Hurdle Final – Killaloan @ 5/1 (William Hill)
Killaloan has rather fallen under the radar for the Paul Nicholls brigade, but looks like a progressive young horse. Winning his last three, impressing last time out winning off top weight. It’s a big step up in grade, but the way Killaloan is going, he should be able to handle it. Plus, winning ground on soft is a big plus today.
Holetown Hero also have to be given a shout for the Nicholls team. Second to Inneston last time out, he’s finished in the top four in all starts this season. He should perform on the ground after his performance at Newton Abbot, only losing by a length.
Kansas Du Berlais is also worth a shout, after progressing through his last two runs. He turns out quickly after winning at Fontwell last week by 16 lengths. A good win on heavy ground shows this Gary Moore horse is versatile and should handle the track well.
1:40 – Celebration Chase (Grade One) – Captain Guinness (W/O Jonbon)
No prices are out yet on the without market, but Captain Guinness has to finish either behind, or in front, of Jonbon. It’s the first time Jonbon is stepping into open company, but this is the time to do it. He obliterated the field at Aintree and this is going to be a tougher test against seasoned chasers. Captain Guinness has improved no end this season. Second behind Energumene in the Champion Chase and second at the Dublin Racing Festival. Soft ground won’t be a problem and may just get the better of Greaneteen into second.
2:15 – bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase – Kitty’s Light @ 7/2 (General)
I’ve seen the light. Kitty’s Light is one of the best handicap horses, possibly, of the season. Winning the Eider and the Scottish National aren’t easy feats, and a slight drop in distance will not trouble him. And if Christian Williams is happy turning him out in the space of a week, then he must be trusted. He also races off the same mark of 140, five pounds lower than last year (he finished third), and a pound bigger than the 2021 run (he finished a narrow second). Escaping the penalty is a massive plus.
Nicholls has been rather bullish about Enrilo. He says that he’s back to his best, after four poor performances, but he’s had a layoff and he could come back with a bang. He was rated 145 last year, and pulled up, but was first past the post in 2021 off 143. This time he’s way down to 137, and if Nicholls is to be trusted, he may go and beat Kitty’s Light.
2:50 – Oaksey Chase (Grade Two) – Solo @ 7/2 (BetUK)
Solo, in terms of the prices, is the pick of the race. Hewick is far too short and looks at tad too unreliable after falling at Cheltenham. He had a great win at Sandown last year in the bet365 Gold Cup, but with the unseat at Listowel and the fall at Cheltenham. He’s just a tad to unreialbe to be as short as he is. Solo has had a great season after winning at Kempton last time out, but he started his campaign at the Esher track, on similar conditions. Nicholls always aims and places his horses well, and loves this meeting, which draws me in to back him at a more respectable price than Hewick’s.
The very best of luck!