1.50 Mares Hurdle, 2m4f Listed – Sensulano 7/1
There isn’t much you can knock about potential superstar Laurina’s ability, but you can definitely look for holes in the trainer not firing on all cylinders, in the last 2 weeks we’ve seen 20 of W Mullins short price favs (5/2 or under) getting turned over, only 4 from 24 have gone on to win, an even more incredible watching 8 from 9 odds on losing, that’s pretty remarkable for a trainer like Willie Mullins, it may be just bad timing, or maybe something not right in the yard, either way I think it’s worth a cheeky lay on this classy mare who returns after a 279 day break and a 3lb penalty to carry.
SENSULANO has been progressing well, she’s 2 from 2 this season and while the form isn’t anything to shout about, she’s impressed visually and looks like there’s plenty more to come, she’s certainly not as classy as Laurina, but IMO it’s just a 2 horse race and with my negatives on Laurina, then at the odds, she’s worth a play.
2.25 Tolworth Novices Hurdle, 2m Class 1 – Elixir De Nutz 2/1 (Banker)
A great race that’s produced many multiple Grade 1 winners which include L’ami Serge, Yorkhil, Finian’s Oscar & Summerville Boy in recent years. Nicky Henderson has a fantastic record in the race and has won it 4 times from the 6 he’s contested the last 10 years (race was abandoned twice in 2009-10), he has the clear favourite in the shape of John McManus’s owned Rathhill. The gelding recently won his maiden on the first time of asking beating a 133 rated horse by over a length which gives Rathhill around the 135 performance, which is special on debut and demands plenty of respect.
The horse for me that has the strongest form on show thou is ELIXIR DE NUTZ, he’s 2 from 3 for trainer Colin Tizzard, on his penultimate win he beat Itchy Feet who previously beat Grand Sancy who he himself brings solid form to this race and then LTO Elixir beat Jarveys Plate with a 10lb penalty, Jarvey’s Plate then went on to heavily boost the form when beating a very highly thought of I Can’t Explain by a huge margin, with 135 rated Anemoi back in 3rd, even thou Jarvey’s Plate improved for the further distance, it still for me, makes Elixir De Nutz to be way better than his rating of 140 and the one clearly they all have to beat.
Paul Nicholls has 2 saddled up for this race, Grand Sancy who we touched upon whose collateral form lines are well below EDN. Paul also has Southfield Stone whose all 3 wins have been around a sharp Taunton track, this galloping and testing Sandown track against a big step up in rivals looks a totally different task to what his faced before and may look outclassed.