4.00 Sandown – PEDDLER (nap)
The concluding bumper on the card is often a useful event – past winners including Karanja, Big Eared Fran, Bensalem, Megastar, Knight Pass (Sire De Grugy runner-up) and Full Irish – and this year’s renewal sees a trio that found just one too good first/last time out tackle a couple of winning pointers and a trio of newcomers.
The selection is a son of Scorpion who is a half brother to dual bumper (including on debut)/2m 4f-3m chase winner Arbeo, bumper winner Minella Friend and to the dam of 2m 4f Grade 2 hurdle winner Ordo Ab Chao, out of a bumper/2m 6f-3m hurdle/2m 4f chase winner who was a half sister to bumper winner Grand Pio, family of high-class chasers Aquilifer and Bachelor’s Hall. This gelding is trained by Mark Bradstock and fetched €29,000 at auction last summer, making a good amount of appeal on paper as a half brother to a pair of bumpers, including wide-margin debut winner Arbeo, whilst another half brother finished second first time out in this sphere and there are a few other bumper winners in the family. He represents a stable that perhaps isn’t renowned for its prowess in this sphere, but it can have them ready now and again, and the fact this gelding is started off here in what is a traditionally-strong event suggests he is held in some regard at home; booking of Sean Bowen another plus point and, at potentially decent odds, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this son of Scorpion go well first time out.
The Warren Greatrex-trained Jackson Hill is a son of Jeremy whose sole outing to date came for Ellmarie Holden in a 2m 2f bumper at Ballinrobe in April (3/1 chance), waited with in rear until making smooth progress with half a mile left to run, ridden over two furlongs out and coming wide into the straight, staying on well to take second behind Bois De Clamart (beaten 10 lengths). He was picked up for £80,000 not long after and appeals as the type to improve on what he showed first time out, strong in the market but poorly placed in relation to the winner, the sharp nature of the track clearly not suiting either. He was still well beaten and those in behind that day haven’t done much for the form, but this gelding is capable of better and represents a stable that has won this race before.
The Seamus Mullins-trained The Raven’s Return is a son of Scorpion who debuted in a bumper at Ascot last November (33/1 chance), waited with in rear and travelling better than most into the home straight, making sustained progress throughout the final two furlongs to come home in fourth behind Nestor Park (beaten 6¾ lengths). He was unable to build on that promise in a Listed event over the same course and distance the following month (66/1 chance), held up and pushed along over three furlongs out, making no impression in the straight and coming home a well beaten 13th of 14 behind Didtheyleaveuoutto (beaten 34 lengths). The fact he hasn’t been seen since suggests all may not have been well on that occasion, it too soon to forget the significant promise he showed at the same track first time out; not to be underestimated on this belated return to action now eased in grade.
Emma Lavelle’s Thunderstruck is a son of Fame And Glory who won his sole outing in the point-to-point sphere at Loughanmore back in May, close up throughout and moving closer four out, making headway approaching the last and staying on well to lead on the run-in and score by 1 length from Maypole Class. He was snapped up for £125,000 by connections soon after and starts out in a race his handler won with the debuting Full Irish in 2015. His pedigree very much geared towards wanting longer distances once tackling obstacles, but his sire’s progeny has a particularly good record in this sphere and he clearly warrants respect off the back of that point victory.
The Don Cantillon-trained Huntsmans Jog is a son of Milan who made his debut in a six-runner bumper at Warwick back in May (well-backed 11/8 chance), soon racing at the rear of the field and niggled along from a fairly early stage, pushed along in a slightly detached last from halfway, ridden and making headway under pressure in the straight to take a clear second behind the 15-length winner Barbados Blue. This gelding’s inexperience was plain for all to see on that occasion, off the bridle from before halfway and thus never in a position to mount any sort of challenge to the admittedly very easy winner. For all he didn’t achieve much in form terms, he is likely better than the bare result implies, from a good family his handler has enjoyed plenty of success with and the subject of good support in the market; open to improvement and interesting if the money comes again in a deeper race.
The Gary Moore-trained Right Old Touch is a nicely-bred son of Stowaway whose sole outing to date came in the Goffs UK Spring Sale bumper at Newbury back in March 2017 (not unfancied 16/1 chance), waited with a little worse than midfield and pushed along with over half a mile left to run, making no impression in the straight and coming home 13th of 20 to Bullionaire (beaten 25 lengths). He has clearly had some sort of issue to have not seen action since then, not really offering enough on debut to think he was a winner waiting to happen in this sphere; interesting he is brought here for his return given his stable has a good history in this race, but he’ll likely come into his own over obstacles and appears to be the second string on jockey bookings, so probably best watched.
Stablemate Fat Sam is a son of Denham Red who is a half brother to bumper/2m 2f hurdle winner Dry Ol’ Party out of a point winner who was a half sister to French 11.5-12f winner Dawara, French 10-12f Flat/2m 2f-2m 3f hurdle winner Heliodor and French 10f Flat/2m hurdle winner Zamarat out of a French jumps winning half sister to several winners, notably useful French 2m 1f-3m 1f chase winner Kendo Du Monteceau. This gelding makes some appeal on pedigree, his half brother a winner in this sphere (albeit on his fourth start) and the dam a half sister to winners under both codes. The fact he debuts in this particular race is of more interest, connections winning this with a newcomer in the shape of Stonegate back in 2014 whilst his handler started off Sire De Grugy in this contest back in 2009; stable’s debutantes often better for a run, but interesting to see how this gelding goes in the market.