Saturday 6th February, 2.25pm, Sandown
We’ve got Grade One action coming from Sandown tomorrow with the Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase taking place. This race is held over two miles and four furlongs and horses that do well in this can often go onto compete in the JLT Novices’ Chase.
The horse leading the way in the market right now is Tea For Two, who is a 5/4 shot and looking to build on what was an excellent win at Kempton on Boxing Day last time out.
That was just his second run over fences and to win a Grade One by four lengths is always pretty impressive.
The win at Kempton did come over three miles though and you wouldn’t say that Tea For Two was crying out for a step down in trip, but he has won over this distance before and has to have a big chance.
Bristol De Mai is available at 13/8 and was very impressive when bolting up in Grade 2 company at Haydock last time out in Grade Two company.
This is the ideal for the horse right now and for a novice, he seems to jump very well indeed. Bristol De Mai doesn’t seem to run a bad race and could prove to be decent value in this encounter. He gets three pounds from the favourite too.
The bookies have this as a bit of a two horse race as As De Mai is a 12/1 shot for Sam Twiston-Davies and Paul Nicholls.
This horse fell when Tea For Two won on Boxing Day last time out and was behind Bristol De Mai at Sandown at the start of December, so has a fair bit to find here.
Bitofapuzzle can be backed at 12/1, but has other entries tomorrow and this might not be first preference. Maximiser is then at 14/1, with Ubak the 25/1 outsider.
We don’t think that the outsiders will be able to live with the front two in the market here and expect the favourites to battle it out. At the prices, we’d side with BRISTOL DE MAI and think he can continue on an upward curve over fences.