Tolworth Hurdle top trend is a fresh horse
THE Tolworth Hurdle (2.25 Sandown) is one of the first big races of 2019 with the key trend being to stick with horses that were first or second last time out.
You also want a runner that has a recent outing under their belt and a win over the race distance of 2m is something else to look out for.
Look for runners that have won at least once over hurdles but avoid horses that have been on the go, with a maximum of two wins the benchmark.
Concentrating on this year’s runners, there is a fairly lengthy shortlist but two that stand out are Elixir De Nutz and Rathhill.
The former has done very little wrong over timber with a second in good company at Cheltenham in October followed by wins in smaller fields at the same track.
He should be right there again but RATHHILL was massively impressive when winning a 20-runner race at Newbury last time out.
He barely had to be touched by Barry Geraghty and was on the bridle until the slightest touch of the reins got the job done.
This is a step up in class from that but it was certainly visually impressive and there should be a lot more to come.
It’s a decent card at Sandown but the veterans’ chase at 3pm is no good for us as it’s only the fourth running.
Sandown’s 3.35 looks competitive and horses aged between five and seven have the best recent record.
Strangely, it’s much the best to have finished outside the first three last time out, while a run within the past 50 days has been important.
Another pointer is to have won between one and three hurdle races in the past. The betting isn’t much help as they have won at all prices.
One with a fair shout appears to be COURT ROYALE. He has the right number of wins over timber and was out of the frame last time out.
He likes this distance and is the right age so should be right on the premises.
None of the Wincanton televised races have had ten runnings but the 3.15 comes closest with seven past renewals. Horses aged between seven and nine have the strongest record, while carrying less than 11st 5lb has been another important factor.
Finishing in the first three last time out has been a key trend, which really narrows them down.
None of them fit the trends precisely but THEINVAL ticks most of the boxes, with him carrying a little too much weight the only major worry.
He should find this a little easier than the company he’s been keeping at Cheltenham and Wincanton this season. Nicky Henderson’s nine-year-old has looked more than a little rusty both times and should do himself justice today.
Not including yesterday’s results, MICK CHANNON has been having an excellent run. In the past fortnight he has sent out six winners and a further place from nine runners.
JOHN GOSDEN’S allweather runners are in excellent form too. He has had four winners and a further two places from his past nine runners.
Just over half of the NICKY HENDERSON runners have hit the frame in the past two weeks – not bad going from 49 runners to Thursday. His win record of 24% over that time is roughtly what you would expect but backing all his runners have generated a £34 profit to SP.
PHILIP KIRBY is running at more than double his usual win rate lately with eight winners from 33 runners for a £33 profit.
VENETIA WILLIAMS is also having more winners than usual at an impressive 26% for a £13 profit.
Ticks boxes: Theinval BEST BETS RATHHILL (2.25 SANDOWN) THEINVAL (3.15 WINCANTON) COURT ROYALE (3.35 SANDOWN)