Sandown Preview & Betting Tips – February 18th

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The Grade 2 Jane Seymour Mares' Novices' Hurdle is the pick of the card at Sandown on Thursday.

Richard Johnson on board Little River Bay.

There’s a strong card over jumps this afternoon at Sandown Park, headlined by the Grade 2 Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (2.30pm).

It should prove tough going in the heavy ground and our tipster has selections for all the Sandown action (1.20pm-4.50pm, seven races).

Watch every race from Sandown on Thursday afternoon, as well as all the UK racing action, via live streaming when logged into MansionBet.

1.20 – Greenwich Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (2m)

Will Sting made good on the market support that came for him when scoring on handicap debut at Warwick last month on heavy ground, leaving his previous form well behind to score easily.

A 13lb ratings-hike poses a tougher assignment here, but he’s got to be considered. Eamon An Cnoic is better known as a solid chaser but showed last time at Chepstow he could take advantage of this lower hurdles rating soon.

BLUEBERG has twice shaped better than the odds implied at Ffos Las on testing ground and Evan Williams’ charge could have a major challenge on handicap bow from what is a lenient starting point.

Selection: Blueberg @ 7/1

1.55 – Elmbridge Handicap Chase (1m7½f)

Enzo D’airy has landed 2-4 starts over fences and should give a solid account, though he was well held in a Ludlow handicap four weeks ago and needs further improvement.

Numitor is 2-2 in this sphere after readily coming away to win at Wincanton (heavy) over a similar trip a fortnight ago and looks the key player with more to come, but a chance is taken with FLEGMATIK for the Skelton team.

He was poor in December at Ascot but his previous efforts, including a win at Carlisle on chasing bow, were promising and – following a short break – the application of cheekpieces could spark more from him now.

Selection: Flegmatik @ 15/2

2.30 – Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m4f)

This Grade 2 has attracted some talented mares and the likes of Sandymount Rose, Little Mo and Misty Whisky command major respect, but preference is for LITTLE RIVER BAY for the Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson combination.

The Shirocco mare defied a double penalty at Newbury last month with something to spare, despite very much looking to be still a work in progress. Trip/ground are no concern and she can take the rise in class in her stride.

Selection: Little River Bay @ 2/1

3.05 – Kingston Handicap Chase (2m4f)

Mister Murchan continued his progress over fences when scoring at Wincanton four weeks ago and he should have a major say again despite an 8lb rise for that success.

This is tougher though and the likes of Mac Tottie can have a say. It might be best to side with NO GETAWAY for Dan Skelton as the likely winner.

His chasing bow at Market Rasen (2m5½f, good) was promising and he’s undergone a wind operation since a less positive Newbury run before Christmas. He can bounce back down in trip.

Selection: No Getaway @ 4/1

3.40 – Telegraph Hill ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle (2m)

Robin’s Dream, Red Rookie and PIPESMOKER are battling it out at the head of the betting for this novices’ hurdle.

Gary Moore’s runner made a very promising start behind odds-on jolly Gallyhill at Newbury last month and has a big chance, but another Nicky Henderson charge may deny him now in the returning Pipesmoker.

He boasts some hugely promising form over sticks from last season and, if he’s ready to roll on his return, ought to take some halting.

Selection: Pipesmoker @ 15/8

4.15 – Littleworth Handicap Chase (3m)

Bobo Mac has twice shaped well at Chepstow this term, including when sixth in the Welsh National last month and should go well, but he has top-weight to defy and may find something to foil him.

SKIPTHECUDDLES came in for some market support at Newbury (2m7½f, heavy) last month and duly ran his best race for some time. Eased 1lb for that third-place finish, he’s got each-way claims again if building on it.

Selection: Skipthecuddles @ 8/1

4.50 – Richmond Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (2m4f)

A reduced field for the finale after Dorking Lad, Grangeclare Glory and Straight Swap were declared non-runners this morning.

Any market support behind handicap debutant Gastara would be noted but the mare TIMELESS BEAUTY was well-supported on her handicap bow last month at Ayr (2m5½f, heavy) and had little bother ensuring the money was well-placed.

She’s gone up 10lb but may prove equal to the handicapper’s assessment in a first-time tongue tie now.

Selection: Timeless Beauty @ 9/2

*All odds correct at time of writing

Enda is a journalist who specialises in horse racing, especially the action in the UK and Ireland, and has shared his racing betting tips on a number of well-known publications and websites over the last 10 years.

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