Simon Holt: Own up at Sandown
Channel 4 Racing commentator Simon Holt has two selections for Saturday, including God's Own in the Tingle Creek Chase.
God's Own can capitalise on his race-fitness
GOD'S OWN, already a three-time Grade One winner, is fancied to capitalise on his race-fitness in Saturday's Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
The Tom George-trained gelding, from a stable enjoying an excellent season, boasts two solid recent efforts: a slightly unlucky second (after being hampered) at Aintree (Vibrato Valtat third) and then a third to Royal Regatta at Ascot (Vibrato Valtat fifth) where he travelled like the best horse but got tired over two-miles-and-five furlongs on going a bit too soft.
God's Own thrived towards the end of last season recording victories at Aintree and at Punchestown (beating Vautour) but has five lengths to make up on Un De Sceaux on their running behind Sprinter Sacre in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
With the favourite making his seasonal debut here having jumped poorly behind Sprinter Sacre over the course and distance in April, Adrian Heskin's mount is decent value to turn the tables.
Un De Sceaux has won since in France but likes to front run and will face competition for the lead from Ar Mad which could again put pressure on his jumping. On the other hand, a strongly-run race will suit this undoubtedly smart horse who beat Ar Mad's stable-companion Sire de Grugy by five lengths at Ascot (soft) last season and may ideally be suited by slightly further than two miles with plenty of cut in the ground.
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Ar Mad and Sire De Grugy give Sussex trainer Gary Moore a strong hand. Ar Mad was a revelation when sent right-handed over fences last season, putting up slick jumping displays on this course and at Kempton.
But this is his first run since fracturing a leg last February and Moore warns that he might need it.
Sire De Grugy seeks a third Tingle Creek and, having been well beaten in the Champion Chase and here behind Sprinter Sacre and Un De Sceaux in April, he bounced back to something like his best form when defying top weight at Ascot last time.
The handicapper now has the former Champion Chaser just six pounds shy of his highest rating and, despite being held by Un De Sceaux on their Ascot meeting, he can never be ruled out.
At Aintree, THE YOUNG MASTER is fancied to advertise his Grand National claims in the Betfred Becher Chase.
The seven-year-old, who missed last month's Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton due to fast ground, looks just the type for the big fences and, in Sam Waley Cohen, will be partnered by a jockey who boasts a superb course record.
The Young Master seems to improve every season and rounded off last term with a game victory in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown (up just 2lb) having previously chased home Un Temps Pour Tout and Holywell at the Cheltenham Festival.
Previous course form is always an advantage, however, so The Last Samuri and Ucello Conti, second and sixth behind Rule The World in last season's National cannot be ruled out along with Highland Lodge and Dare To Endeavour, the first and second in this race 12 months ago.
After fourths to Pineau De Re and Many Clouds in the National, Alvarado will also be on many short lists, especially after his encouraging sixth to Viconte De Noyer (up 6lb) at Cheltenham first time out, but this out-and-out stayer often seems to get going too late.
Double Ross has run well round here before but this may come soon enough after his terrific third behind Native River in last weekend's Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
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