We are off to Sandown Park this afternoon to watch the old boys tackle the veteran's chase series final.
This race is a fantastic initiative for horses who have turned 10yo or higher with the winning connections taking home all of £51,440. That is just short of £12,000 more than the winner receives in the Grade 1 Tolworth hurdle earlier on the card!
I prefer the back Gwencily Berbas here rather than Wandrin Star who is better off with our selection at the weights despite beating Gwencily Berbas by 6.5 lengths here in November. Sometimes I am guilty of getting too caught up in the “weights and measures” angle when it is form that counts best. Gwencily Berbas looked like winning when turning for home here in November but ultimately blew up on his first run since May.
Tom Scudamore rode him confidently to win a handicap chase at Exeter over 3m6f carrying 11-11 a month later. That was this horses first win in over four years so fair play to connections for persisting with their horse. He has been well fancied more than once to win the Kerry National at Listowel for locally based trainer Eric McNamara but never enjoyed much luck. A switch to the yard of David Pipe this season has seen significant improvement from the horse whose form figures read 3231 in four starts. The testing ground will suit this horse tomorrow and carrying 10-9 he should give us a good run for our money at a decent price.
1 Point Each Way Gwencily Berbas 8/1 William Hill & Skybet, both 5 places.