Rath­hill’s class can dom­i­nate Sandown

The Racing Paper - - Front Page - by Mike Fran­cis

RATH­HILL looks hard to beat in to­day’s Tol­worth Hur­dle (2.25 Sandown).

Trainer Nicky Hen­der­son im­me­di­ately nom­i­nated this Grade 1 con­test for his six-year-old af­ter a smooth de­but win at New­bury last month.

That may have been just a Class 4 hur­dle but he trav­elled like a po­ten­tial star and just can­tered around for the most part.

Barry Ger­aghty merely steered him through his ri­vals to win go­ing away.

Hen­der­son knows what it takes to win this race, hav­ing scored three times in the past seven run­nings so this shouldn’t be too big a step up in class.

Elixir De Nutz could be his big­gest ri­val af­ter a cou­ple of im­pres­sive wins, both at Chel­tenham.

He kicked off this sea­son by fin­ish­ing sec­ond at Prest­bury Park where he may have needed the out­ing.

Colin Tiz­zard’s fiveyear-old then un­der­lined his po­ten­tial by win­ning the Grade 2 Sharp Novices’ Hur­dle at HQ.

He kept things sim­ple there by go­ing from the front and not re­ally see­ing a chal­lenger as he pulled away from his ri­vals.

It was ar­guably an even bet­ter ef­fort to fol­low up with an­other suc­cess at Chel­tenham last month.

Again he dic­tated the pace and jumped bril­liantly from the front.

He trav­elled strongly and was asked to go and win his race by Harry Cob­den af­ter jump­ing the sec­ond-last. He did that well and looks ready for this new chal­lenge.

Grand Sancy has not done a lot wrong this sea­son and was good enough to win a Listed race at Hay­dock in Novem­ber.

He then ran an­other solid race in de­feat when fourth in a big-field hand­i­cap at As­cot last time out.

He was asked to make up a lot of ground late on there and found it a bit too tough against 20 ri­vals.

Paul Ni­cholls con­tin­ues in good form and there’s ev­ery chance this fiveyear-old could im­prove again.

Po­ten­tial star: Rath­hill with Barry Ger­aghty

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