Nineteen line up in Veterans’ Final
A magnificent field of 19 horses are set to line up in the £100,000 32Red Veterans' Handicap Chase over three miles at Sandown on Saturday.
Dynaste: Goes for a competitive veterans' chase on Saturday
The concept of these races for old stagers has really taken off since they were introduced, with this field of horses all aged 11 years old and more underlining the point.
The winning connections will receive a cheque for £61,900 on Saturday and heading the betting for the race is David Pipe's Dynaste, who was cut to 7/1 from 12s earlier in the week.
He hasn't won a race since the 2015 Grade One Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but he was in his prime back then, when rated 169, and he's 24lb lower now running off a mark of 145.
Paul Nicholls has a couple of good chances, too, with recent course winner Rocky Creek bidding to back up that victory over half a mile shorter, while stablemate Aerial also brings recent winning form to the table having won the Southern National at Fontwell back in November.
It wouldn't be a big Saturday race without Colin Tizzard getting a mention and his Theatrical Star, running in the Brocade Racing silks that Native River carried to victory in the Welsh National, will bid to improve from his recent spin over hurdles at Wincanton on Boxing Day.
Harry Fry's Shuil Royale heads the weights following his win at Aintree back in October, while Tom George has a couple of interesting runners in Forgotten Gold and Saint Are.
Venetia Williams is also double-handed with Aachen and Bennys Mist, Charlie Longsdon calls upon Loose Chips and Pete The Feat and Emma Lavelle runs Court By Surprise.
The field is completed by last month's Kelso one-two Gas Line Boy and Cloudy Too, Nigel Twiston-Davies' Astracad, Nicky Henderson's Ericht, Harry Whittington's Wychwoods Brook, Dianne Sayer's Baileys Concerto and Charlie Mann's Cody Wyoming.