Sandown Park Tips: Mullins to clinch title in style

 | 26th April | 

5 mins read

Sandown Racecourse

The curtain closes on the jumps season this Saturday after a classy seven-race card at Sandown which runs from 13:50-17:20.

I've got a handful of Sandown Park tips, including one in the feature for Willie Mullins who is expected to become Champion Trainer for the first time, to hopefully sign off in style.

Sandown Park Tips

  • 13:50 - Court In The Act @ 10/1
  • 15:00 - Jonbon @ 9/4
  • 15:35 - Minella Cocooner @ 15/2
  • 16:10 - Ballyadam e/w @ 13/2

13:50 - Court In The Act @ 10/1

The opener can go to Harry Derham's COURT IN THE ACT.

This five-year-old improved nicely between his first two runs over flights late last year, before finishing runner-up at at Ludlow around a month ago following a 86-day break.

Derham says Saturday's two-mile contest - the Novices' Championship Final Handicap Hurdle - has been the plan since his victory at Kempton on Boxing Day, so the goal last time out was no doubt just to qualify and gain match fitness.

Even so, it's fair form in the context of this race. His conqueror Go To War is a decent animal and the pair were over 20 lengths clear of the rest of the field.

Off a mark of 119 on suitable good ground, he must have every chance of getting us off to a flyer.

Court In The Act to win the 13.50 Sandown at 10-1

15:00 - Jonbon @ 9/4

It's the opinion of the handicapper that El Fabiolo is a better horse than Jonbon. That's hard to disagree with, but the 'best' horse doesn't always win in this game and I fancy that'll prove true in the G1 Celebration Chase.

If JONBON is ever going to get the better of El Fabiolo again, it's here - over 1m7½f on good ground with those famous railway fences in the way.

The latter did what he's threatened to do throughout his career in the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month and absolutely clattered the fifth fence, causing jockey Paul Townend to swiftly pull him up. That questionable jumping is going to be tested to the max on Saturday, round one of the most demanding jumping tracks in the country.

Generally, Jonbon is a sound jumper - at times a very good one - and he comes here off the back of victory over a longer trip at Aintree just over a fortnight ago.

I don't think there's all that much between these two at their peak and at present it's Jonbon that represents the safer option, so Nicky Henderson's star is the selection.

Jonbon to win the 15.00 Sandown at 9-4

15:35 - Minella Cocooner @ 15/2

Given his lead of over £170,000 at time of writing, Willie Mullins could draw a blank this weekend and still land the UK Jump Trainers' Championship, but I'm hoping he wraps it up in style by taking the feature with MINELLA COCOONER.

The eight-year-old son of Flemensfirth was a Grade 1-winning novice hurdler in 2021/22, but he unfortunately suffered a setback the following term after a promising debut over the bigger obstacles and wasn't seen again until five months ago.

He returned with a tame effort behind stablemate Fact To File but he's gradually improved since, with his latest spin in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse last month a clear best in this new discipline.

Off top-weight, that was a superb effort that marked him as a real stayer whose future no doubt lies over marathon trips. He's not an out-and-out slogger, though. He was second to The Nice Guy in an Albert Bartlett on relatively quick ground and bridged that gap quite significantly at Punchestown a month later on an even sounder surface, so he certainly has the class to cope with likely conditions at Sandown.

A mark of 151, just three pounds higher than when third by just four lengths in the Irish National, is workable, especially for such a lightly-raced type. He gets on well with Danny Mullins, so the fact Paul Townend has picked stablemate Nick Rockett (who was over 25 lengths behind the selection the last day) is of no major concern.

Minella Cocooner to win the 15.35 Sandown at 15-2

16:10 - Ballyadam e/w @ 13/2

Impaire Et Passe or Langer Dan? That'll no doubt be the choice for many ahead of the G2 Select Hurdle, but I suggest an each-way punt on Henry De Bromhead's BALLYADAM.

The nine-year-old son of Flame And Glory finished just over three lengths behind Langer Dan in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham last month when giving six pounds away. On Saturday he receives four, so he's 10lbs better off. He also loves good ground, which can't necessarily be said for Dan Skelton's runner.

I don't think there's nearly as much between the pair as the current betting suggests - and given Langer Dan was involved in that controversial photo finish in the Aintree Hurdle earlier this month, the theory is there's not all that much between him and Impaire Et Passe too.

As it goes, I think the latter is better than what he showed on Merseyside, but he's short enough given he's very almost winless in his last four starts and finished rather tamely over 2m4f the last day - just over a fortnight ago, on a less demanding course.

I think this is a weak affair outside of the top three, so providing there's no withdrawals to change the place terms from three to two, the suggestion is an each-way one.

Ballyadam each-way for the 16.10 Sandown at 13-2

Find more Horse Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

Share Article

(Visited 166 times, 1 visits today)