Celebration Chase Day Preview

Saturday 23rd April 2022

Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)

A big welcome this week’s Saturday Preview which comes from Sandown where it’s Celebration Chase Day, as we reach the concluding stages of the National Hunt season. I’ll be kicking things off with the 1:50 which is the Novices’ Championship Final Handicap Hurdle, rolls off the tongue doesn’t it? The race is an extremely competitive affair, and I’ve taken an each-way chance on Doctor Parnassus at 6/1 for Dan and Harry Skelton. He was a useful performer on the flat and made the transition to hurdling in style, winning a couple of novice events by the best part of 19 lengths before finishing midfield in the Triumph at Cheltenham behind Vauban. Unlike a considerable amount of this field, he’s still lightly raced this term and potentially has a lot of progressing still to come. A return to quicker ground should also go in his favour and I think he’s got every chance of playing a big role here.

Moving onto the 2:25 now which is the Grade 2 Oaksey Chase that’s contested over two miles and six furlongs. Now, most folk who follow me on Twitter know that Mister Fisher is one of my favourite horses in training, so it really does bring me a great deal of pain to have to announce that I’m going against him here. I’m siding with the seven-year-old in the field which is Erne River at 9/2 for Nick Kent and Charlie Hammond. He was last seen when falling in a Grade 1 novices’ event at Aintree at the beginning of the month, I actually put him up for that race as well and despite being on and off the bridle he did look to be coming into it before he came down. He has quite a considerable gap to make up on the ratings here, but I still think he has quite a lot of progression in him and if making another step up here he could well lower the colours of a few bigger names.

The 3:00 is where my attention turns to next which is the Grade 1 Celebration Chase itself. Set to be ridden over a distance of a mile and seven furlongs, the race this year has attracted just five runners. Nevertheless though, it’s still a classy five, and I’ve sided with Nube Negra at 6/4 for the Skelton Team. He missed Cheltenham and as a result hasn’t been since a below par effort in December at this track behind Greaneteen in the Tingle Creek, who he reopposes here. The time before that though he posted one of his best efforts to date at Chelenham when he botled up in the Grade 2 Shloer Chase by six lengths, and he was arguably unlucky not to be closer in last year’s Champion Chase. If he reproduces any of those efforts for this assignment I think he’ll be tough to beat in this.

Signing off my preview will be the 3:32 which is the Bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase over three miles and five furlongs. As you will expect, this is very competitive and it’s currently 9/2 about a 15 runner field. Out of said 15 runners I’ve come down on Kitty’s Light, who’s currently a best price of 5/1 for the team of Christian Williams and Jack Tudor. I put her up for this race last year, and she was extremely unlucky in the run and as a result got promoted to second-place, with the current favourite for this year’s renewal Enrilo demoted to third. He was last seen when finishing second in the Scottish Grand National earlier in the month and is a very likeable and consitant sort, he’s every chance of reversing that form with stablemate Win My Wings here at the weights, and if a long season hasn’t caught up with him he has to be considered as a big player.


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