The Veternans Chase programme has been a roaring success the past few years. We love to see this well know horses racing just as we love to watch all athletes continue to perform. With a £100,000 final this afternoon at Sandown there is great fun to be had keeping a healthy but aging racehorse in training. Hopefully, Ireland can follow the lead of the BHA by building a Veterans Chase programme too.

Smooth stepper looks well over priced in this race. He ran a cracker behind kings odyssey off a break beaten only half a length in late November. When trained by Sue Smith he won some good handicap chases at Newcastle and Kelso ending the 2018 season on a rating of 146. He runs today from 135 but is 11 years old and it is some recent good form I like to see when backing in a veterans chase.

Alex Hales couldn’t get him right last season but he seems to have found the key to Smooth Stepper as he was good at Warwick. The handicapper has raised him 3lbs which is fair and hopefully he can progress for that run. Kielan Woods rides with 11-3 on his back. Connections have waited for this valuable chase since November so he has had plenty of time to recover. Soft ground over a three mile trip are his ideal conditions and all looks set for a big run.

Sandown - 15:00

1 Point EACH WAY Smooth Stepper (14/1 Ladbrokes paying 4 places)


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