Three Horses To Watch At Sandown With The Cheltenham Festival In Mind

Caribean Boy will aim to book his place in the Ryanair Chase with a victory at Sandown.
Caribean Boy will aim to book his place in the Ryanair Chase with a victory at Sandown.

Steve Chambers picks out three horses that run at Sandown this Saturday and could then feature prominently at the Cheltenham Festival, with some notable Ryanair Chase clues emerging from the all-jumps card...

Caribean Boy - Virgin Bet Handicap Chase - 13:15

An impressive four-length winner of the Virgin Bet Handicap Chase 12 months ago, the Paul Nicholls-trained Dolos will bid for back-to-back wins in the Sandown 1m 7f 119y contest, but he will have a major adversary in the shape of Caribean Boy, who takes his chance for Nicky Henderson.

The seven-year-old made an impressive start to his chasing career with his most notable success coming in the Grade 2 Berkshire Novices' Chase at Newbury in November, where he outclassed the former Grade 1-winning novice hurdler Fiddlerontheroof. However, he blotted his copybook next time out when finishing last of three in a Graduation Chase at Ascot in December. But, connections of the Seven Barrows inmate shouldn't be too disheartened with that loss as he was beaten by Dashel Drasher, who won again at Ascot on his next start, while Cleeve Hurdle bound Itchy Feet, who finished second, is a top performer as well on his day.

While Saturday's event is over a distance just short of two miles, Caribean Boy appears to be more suited to a longer trip, and the Ryanair Chase could be his Cheltenham Festival assignment - a race he is currently 40/1 for, at the time of writing. The Ryanair betting is wide open this year with reigning champion Min and Kim Bailey's Imperial Aura towards the head of the market, but in such a wide open division there's gaps for springers in the betting, and Caribean Boy could be one of those, if producing the goods at the weekend.

Shan Blue - Virgin Bet Scilly Isles Novices' Chase - 13:50

Dan Skelton's Shan Blue will be attempting to emulate the Philip Hobbs-trained Defi Du Seuil by claiming victory in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase and then go on to win the Grade 1 Marsh Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival a month later.  Skelton's charge will be one of the star attractions in Saturday's Scilly Isles and the seven-year-old will attempt to extend his unbeaten record over fences to four this weekend, and he will be well fancied to maintain his 100% record.

A brace of wins at Wetherby on his first two chasing starts were eclipsed by a mightily-impressive three-and-three-quarter length win in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day. Now tackling Grade 1 company for the second time, Shan Blue, who is not entered for the 3m Festival Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, will be looking to use Saturday's test as a warm-up for the Marsh Novices' Chase.

Currently a 12/1 second favourite for the Marsh, Shan Blue will have to produce a spectacular display if he is to get remotely close to red-hot Marsh favourite Envoi Allen in the betting, but having not put a hoof wrong to date over the larger obstacles then Shan Blue will look to continue his winning run and duly book his spot at next month's Festival for the Marsh, which is run on March 18.

Saint Calvados - Cotswold Chase - 14:20

Six go to post for the rescheduled Cotswold Chase, which has been switched to Sandown following Cheltenham's abandonment last weekend, and the sextet should serve up an excellent renewal of the 3m Grade 2 contest. Nicky Henderson's Santini will be looking to use the race as a prep for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, while Bristol De Mai and Lake View Lad will be another duo aiming to book their spots in the Gold Cup with a positive run.

But, the most eye-catching runner is the Harry Whittington-trained Saint Calvados, who remains in the line-up following the switch from his beloved Cheltenham, and a positive run here should book his spot at next month's festival. However, it looks like a Gold Cup bid is out of the question, as he is a 40/1 chance for the blue riband event, and a return to the Ryanair Chase looks in order for the classy eight-year-old.

Touched off by Min in last season's Ryanair, Saint Calvados is destined for a return to that 2m 5f contest on day three of the festival, and he is trading around a 9/4 fourth favourite for the Grade 1 contest on March 18. Last seen finishing fourth in the King George VI Chase, Saint Calvados had become a Cheltenham regular, but will now make his second trip to Sandown Park this weekend. Well beaten by Altior in the 2019 Tingle Creek Chase, Saint Calvados is a mid-distance star these days, so Saturday's three-mile test may just stretch the petrol gauge, but Whittington will just be wanting a solid run before he unleashes his tilt at the Ryanair in a few weeks time.

Cheltenham Festival Tips
Advert Disclaimer
Horseracing.net is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Horseracing.net accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus

#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply. begambleaware.org.
£20 Risk Free Bet Refunded In CASH On Losing Bets (APP Only)
#AD New customers only. Deposit £20 using card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply
Welcome Offer
#AD Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+ begambleaware.org.
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 on Horse Racing at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Bet £10 Get £30 + 30 Free Spins
#AD New UK & NI customers only. Promo code SPORTS60. Deposit and place first sports bet of £10+ in one transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0)+, settled within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 30 Free Spins on Blue Wizard at £0.10 per spin. 7-day expiry. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Get Up To £100 In Free Bets
#AD New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD. New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Money back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 Casino
New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Racing 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Racing bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in. #ad
Bet £10 Get £5 Or 50% Losses Back Up To £25
To activate your Sportsbook 50% Back Welcome Offer, simply deposit and bet on any Sportsbook markets of your choice at odds of evens (2.00) or greater. If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting (23:59), we'll refund 50% of your first day's losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (Minimum 3 bets required). If your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at minimum odds evens or greater. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
£10 Welcome Offer
#AD UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Place your first bet on sports pools and if it loses we’ll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first sports pool bet added to the betslip. Ten to Follow bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. BeGambleaware.org T&Cs apply
Today's Most tipped
Add All Tips To Betslip
Latest racing results
Newcastle
19:10
1st Dabirstar
2nd Silver Bubble
3rd Cover Name
Newcastle
18:40
1st Spartan Fighter
2nd International Girl
3rd Gowanlad
Newcastle
18:10
1st Invincibly
2nd Bringitonboris
3rd Traveller
View All Today's Results