Sandown & Wolverhampton Tips for 9th March 2024

Results for Sandown & Wolverhampton Tips for 9th March 2024

This weekend represents the calm before the Cheltenham storm for horse racing fans, with the four-day showpiece now tantalisingly close. However, there is plenty of quality action to get stuck into on Saturday afternoon as Sandown plays host to its traditional pre-festival card. The Esher venue dominates the Scoop6 menu, with the hugely competitive Imperial Cup the headline act. Elsewhere, we have a pair of excellent Premier Handicaps and an informative Listed Bumper, whilst the Lincoln Trial from Wolverhampton reminds us that the 2024 flat season isn’t far away.

Many punters tried to land last week’s prize. None were successful, creating another rollover this week. With the prize pool rocketing skywards, we’ll take a stab at the pot, and here, we present our best bets in each of the six legs in this week’s Scoop6 Racing Tips.

1:50 European Breeders’ Fund Betfair ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Final

Premier Handicap, 2m4f

Fire Flyer

Jonjo O’Neill’s Hashting (10/3) heads the betting in the opener, having looked like a horse to keep on side with solid wins in maiden and novice company. His jumping then fell to pieces when fancied to go well on handicap debut at Newbury, as he trailed home in seventh off today’s mark of 119. It’s too soon to write him off following one poor effort, but we will look elsewhere.

The improving Asta La Pasta (13/2) arrives seeking a hattrick for Dan Skelton but has already climbed nine pounds from an opening mark of 115 and may be found out stepping up in grade. The one to be on is Fire Flyer from the yard of Paul Nicholls. The Champion Trainer has landed two of the past four editions of this and looks to have another likely sort on his hands in this promising six-year-old. He tasted defeat on his only previous start over this trip, but that second to Gidleigh Park reads pretty well now, with that Harry Fry runner bound for the Cheltenham Festival. An opening mark of 127 is no gimme but may not fully reflect the potential of this son of Shantou.

2:25 Betfair Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle

Class 2, 2m


This handicap has lost a little sparkle following the scrapping of the £100,000 Bonus on offer should the winner go on to land any race at the Cheltenham Festival. Nevertheless, there is still £100,000 available in the race itself, whilst a winning penalty may be enough to lift the victor into one of the prestigious events next week.

Go Dante (6/1) has solid form in the book, including a third-placed effort behind Iberico Lord in the Betfair Hurdle. Getting in off an unchanged mark here, he shouldn’t be far away. Ben Pauling’s Jipcot (6/1) is another for the shortlist following an impressive win at Huntingdon, but with that race coming only six days ago, he will need to have recovered quickly. The one we like best here is Jipcot’s stablemate, Bad. Last sighted going down by just a head in a Class 2 event over 2m3½f at Ascot, his most recent outing at this trip saw him lose out by just three quarters of a length to the now 142-rated Hansard. Whilst he was in receipt of 18 pounds that day, that effort suggests a mark of 126 may be workable, particularly as a recent wind op may spark further improvement.

3:00 British Stallion Studs EBF Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race

Listed, 2m

Honky Tonk Highway

We have a promising field of mares up next in a race jam-packed with potential. Just Call Me Lucy (5/1), Bellas Bridge (10/1), and My Louise all won last time out, whilst Nicky Henderson’s Crazierthandaisy (12/1) makes each-way appeal having caught the eye when an unlucky in running third at Huntingdon. The Ben Pauling duo of Magical Annie (6/1) and I’ve Madeupmymind (12/1) also bring plenty of promise to the table, but the one to side with may be the only runner in the line-up yet to race under rules.

By Milan and out of a Presenting mare, Honky Tonk Highway (9/2) boasts a fine National Hunt pedigree and delivered on that potential when landing a Point-To-Point at Tattersalls Farm in October – prompting Dan Skelton Racing to splash the cash to the tune of £165,000. That’s a steep enough figure for a mare but now looks like a shrewd purchase, with the runner-up from that Point-To-Point having since gone on to claim a Listed Bumper at Market Rasen in good style. That’s as solid a form line as any in a tricky event, and the mount of Harry Skelton gets the vote.

3:15 BetMGM Lincoln Trial Handicap

Class 2, 1m½f

Final Voyage

A change in pace for Leg 4 sees the action switch to the Tapeta surface at Wolverhampton. Clive Cox’s Kingdom Come (11/2) has been limbering up nicely for this, posting solid efforts to hit the frame here and at Wolverhampton, but is yet to win over this far. Course and distance winner King’s Code has no such concerns but is five pounds higher than his career-high winning mark.

Sir Busker (9/1) seems to have been around so long that we were surprised to see that he is only eight. A Grade 2 winner in his pomp and with a decent all-weather record, he can’t be ruled out, whilst front-runner Sudden Ambush (10/1) makes the most appeal of those available at double-figure prices. Plenty of chances, but the one with the fewest questions to answer is Irish raider, Final Voyage (11/2). William Buick is an eye-catching booking for this Johnny Murtagh-trained six-year-old, who got up late to score at Dundalk last time and is only a pound higher than when winning over this track and trip in February 2021.

3:35 Betfair Serial Winners Fund Novices’ Handicap Chase

Premier Handicap, 2m4f

Golden Son

Having landed two of the past six editions of this, anything hailing from the Gary Moore operation merits a second look. The Sussex handler sends two to post this year in the shape of the hattrick-seeking Kotmask (4/1) and Invincible Hero (6/1), who romped home by 14 lengths last time out at Fakenham. Whilst clearly headed in the right direction, that duo will need to find more moving into Premier Handicap company and may be biting off more than they can chew with the current market leader.

Golden Son (3/1) was amongst the most highly touted newcomers to the Paul Nicholls yard at the beginning of the current campaign. A second to the smart Iroko on his seasonal return was a promising effort, only for the wheels to come off with pulled-up displays at Aintree and Newbury. What exactly went wrong on those occasions remains a mystery, but Golden Son was right back to form when battling past Heltenham to land a Class 2 event at Kempton in February. With that Dan Skelton runner winning in Premier Handicap company on his subsequent outing, the form looks solid, and Golden Son can defy topweight here.

4:10 Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Handicap Chase

Class 3, 3m

Rose Of Arcadia

An intriguing handicap for the stayers rounds off the bet, with a decent case to be made for a few of these. Formerly deemed up to Grade 1 level and rising to a rating of 145, Dan Skelton’s Ballygriffincottage rates a danger to all off 135 – if able to build on his promising fifth at Ascot in February. Castle Robing didn’t see out the marathon trip in the Edinburgh National but boasts a solid record at this distance, including a win over course and distance at around this time last year.

The well-handicapped Boldmere completes our shortlist, but the vote goes to the Joe Tizzard mare Rose Of Arcadia. This one has dropped two pounds for an excellent second over course and distance in January – when doing well in the circumstances, having been badly hampered by a faller and lost a shoe during the race. The winner that day, Farceur Du Large, went on to win in a canter next time out, lending further weight to the form.