Bet365 Sandown Gold Cup Preview
Saturday will see the running of the Bet365 Sandown Gold Cup Chase, with a field of 25 fighting it out over the 3 miles and 5 furlongs.
And it is the Nigel Twiston Davies trained Baby Run that has been declared favourite in early markets.
Baby Run was an impressive winner of the Fox Hunt Chase at Aintree during the carnival and 11 year old gelding has been posted at odds of 11/2 for the Sandown classic.
Sam Twiston Davies will resume riding duties on Baby Run, after younger brother Willie took charge of the horse this campaign after Sam turned professional.
“I can’t wait to ride him. I think he’s a brilliant chance at the weights and his form is very consistent. He tries very hard and hopefully he can do the business,” said jockey Sam Twiston Davies.
The Philip Hobbs trained Balthazar King is next in betting at 6/1.
The 7 year old gelding has won impressively at Hereford and Cheltenham this campaign and comes into the race in top form.
Philip Hobbs will also line up the highly fancied Triggerman, who is currently rated a 10-1 chance.
The 9 year old gelding won at Cheltenham on the 14th of April and will come into this race with a fitness edge over some of his rivals.
“The race last week was the only one he could run in without getting a penalty for the Bet365 Gold Cup. He’s pretty tough and he’s come up well enough to start in the Gold Cup,” said Hobbs.
West End Rocker will also be a starter, despite falling in the recent Grand National at Aintree.
Trainer Alan King confirmed that West End Rocker, who is quoted at 14/1, will run at Sandown despite his recent fall.
“He didn’t get very far in the National at Aintree but he took to it like a duck to water up to that point. It was just unfortunate there were horses in the way when he landed at Becher’s. He had a couple of scratches but he’s fine,” said King.
Last year’s winner Church Island is attempting to become the first back to back winner of the Bet365 Gold Cup since Topsham Bay achieved the feat back in 1993.
Church Island, who is quoted at 16/1 has been beaten by 37 and 60 lengths at his two starts since last year’s race, however it is interesting to note he was in similar form last year when he won the race by six lengths.
Exmoor Ranger is a winner over the hurdles at Sandown and comes into this race rated a 25/1 chance.
The Denis O’Regan trained 9 year old has raced at Sandown twice for a win in a novice hurdle and a very close second behind 2008 Bet365 Gold Cup winner Monkerhostin.
“He’s got a competitive weight and it’s probably not the most top-class hurdle you will see,” said O’Regan.
“I’ve been saying all year he wants Sandown on good ground. He loves the place and he’ll love the ground,” continued O’Regan.
Others in the market include Aimigayle (10/1), Poker De Sivola (14/1) and Iconclast (14/1)
For the full market visit Bet365, where new members can receive a £ 200 bet.