The Military Manoeuvre

The pre-Cheltenham doldrums lift slightly with Sandown’s two-day meeting.

Today’s feature race is the Grand Military Gold Cup (1505 GMT), a race confined to amateur jockeys with past or present links to the armed forces. This can give rise to a varied level of riding ability, which offers an added angle for the discerning punter.

Favourite Rathlin Rose will be ridden by the heroic Capt. Guy Disney, who became the first amputee to ride a winner in the top level of racing when winning a similar race to this over course and distance last month.

At revised weights however, the second that day, Ardkilly Witness, deserves to finish very close, but is three times the price. This horse knows his way around Sandown like an old dog on a familiar walk, and as long as he doesn’t stop to cock his leg at the open ditch then he deserves to give the favourite  a tough race.

He was second in the race last year, and definitely needs a canny ride as he is a bit of a thinker. His jockey has won this race twice, now knows this horse’s antics well and can coax him to victory here.

Recommendation: Ardkilly Witness (1505 Sandown), 5-1 generally available.

Find the Daniel Watkins Cheltenham Guide 2017 here.

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