The Daily Yankee:
NAP OF THE DAY: Rock Gone, (1500 Sandown), 1pt win, 7/1 generally available
A fittingly well contested final to the popular veterans chase series and a growing presence in the dull early Jan calendar. Plenty of pace assured, and with due respect to habitual pacesetter Loose Chips, he is unlikely to get the free run that underpinned his win here in the key form race in November. Instead take the second that day Rock Gone whose two previous runs were a great second at Ascot and a fair 7th at the Cheltenham Festival. Gets Sam T-D in the saddle and suitably better ground, and has the benefit of being the young legs here, relatively speaking.
Tedham, (1440 Wincanton), 9/2: In a race with plenty of quirky or disappointing contenders, this lightly raced novice stands out for his progressive profile. He was an excellent second at Chepstow last time when just no match for the very useful Getaway Trump. A mark of 125 looks fair for handicap debut and the booking of course regular Nick Scholfield for trainer Jonjo O’Neill is an eye catcher.
Enola Gay, (1405 Wincanton), 6/1: a fairly soft looking favourite here in Kupatana who looked like falling at the third here over Christmas before promptly unseating at the next. Enola Gay has less to prove than most having jumped soundly around two difficult tracks, Chepstow and Sandown. Jockey Gavin Sheehan will probably make plenty of use of his good jumping near the front, and trainer Venetia Williams is in traditional turn-of-the-year flying form.
Court Royale, (1535 Sandown), 5/1: a fascinating closing race in which the unexposed Monsieur Lecoq is a worthy favourite. But there was a lot to like about Court Royale last time when this lightly raced improver was thrown into a top Ascot handicap. He never got a look in there behind Mohaayed, but that was a top race and didn’t pan out to suit his hold up tactics. Still he stayed on nicely whilst staying off the radar. This slight drop in class can help and he looks to hold a big chance.
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