A big effort from Colonel Mustard last Saturday at Kelso. Benson proved too strong in the finish in receipt of 6lbs from Colonel Mustard.

It's onto another two mile handicap hurdle this Saturday at Sandown.

Irish trainer Peter Fahey won this race with Surprise Package last year and returns with a strong contender this year. Zoffany Bay was purchased in France back in 2021 but only had his first run for Peter three weeks ago at Ascot. He impressed off the back of a 700-day break finishing second to Irish Hill. That run will have brought him forward big time and by running at Ascot, connections found out his UK handicap mark. He has been raised 3lbs to a new mark of 125 for this race and will stay a strongly run two miles on heavy ground no problem. Aidan Coleman retains the ride and with 10-10 on his back, should be involved in the finish.

Dan Skelton has been positive about Playful Saint relishing the testing ground. He is high enough in the ratings and weights but the fact he goes on heavy is huge at Sandown. Playful Saint has been saved for testing ground and a nice pot since scooting in at Leicester by 12 lengths last December. Earlier that month he ran here over two miles on soft ground finishing second to Love Envoi. The winner is a classy mare who won the novices mares hurdle at Cheltenham last season and runs in the Grade 1 mares hurdle next Tuesday. It’s great that Playful Saint has proved himself on this course and is progressing with every run.

It's a fiercely competitive premier handicap with lots of dangers amongst the 17 declared runners. Monviel was tempting along with Hardy Du Seuil while Metier will relish the testing underfoot conditions.

Sandown 2:25

0.5 point each way Zoffany Bay 7/1 William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair SB & Skybet, all 6 places.

0.5 point each way Playful Saint 13/2 Coral & Ladbrokes, 5 places.


Best of Luck, Nicky