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Lucky Loader Previews ITV Racing at Sandown and Wolverhampton

With only a few days to go until the Cheltenham Festival, we’ve got a good card at Sandown to get stuck into this weekend, including the feature race, the Imperial Cup. There is also the Lincoln Handicap Trial at Wolverhampton for the Flat fans, with the turf season fast approaching.

1.50 Sandown – Pic Roc (Each Way)

There have been some very good horses that have won this race over the years, with the likes of Crambo, McFabulous, and Third Wind, so it’s important to try and find one with a bit of class. However, the hard part is trying to find the winner, as most of this field is unexposed and any of them could be open to any amount of improvement. The one that I think is interesting is Pic Roc for Ben Pauling. I know I can’t stop going on about Ben Pauling novice hurdlers, but the way he won at Ascot last time out suggested he’ll be suited by the galloping test at Sandown. If you look at his form, he’s bumped into some nice horses this season, and his mark of 123 looks workable. I’m happy to side with him each way at 16/1.

2.25 Sandown – Bad (Each Way)

Bad has definitely been a cliff horse for many punters this season, but I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon until now. I think he’s been improving with every run, despite coming up short on a few occasions. The last time we saw him, he put up a game performance to finish second at Ascot. That run was over 2m3f, but I think the dropback in trip to 2m will suit him, especially with the stiff uphill finish at Sandown. I’m hoping he’ll get his day in the sun here.

3.00 Sandown – Just Call Me Lucy (Win)

There will be better punting opportunities on Saturday afternoon, but I’m just going to give a tentative nod to Just Call Me Lucy. She absolutely bolted up at Carlisle in December and is worth a go in this grade. Furthermore, the fact that her trainer, Mark Walford, is sending her all the way down south to Sandown is a sign of intent, as he’s only saddled one previous runner at the track. It is a race that is full of improving mares, but I think the daughter of Lucarno is the pick of these based on what they’ve shown so far.

3.35 Sandown – Golden Son (Win)

Golden Son showed his true ability when winning at Kempton last time out. That form was boosted as the second-placed horse from that race, Heltenham, won the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury last weekend. This time around, the six-year-old gelding is only 3lb higher, and he still looks to be feasibly treated. If that race hasn’t left too much of a mark on him, I can see him going in again.

2.40 Wolverhampton – Nine Tenths (Win)

Fitness might prove to be the key here, so that’s why I’m giving my vote to Nine Tenths. She’s been in excellent form on the all-weather this winter for William Haggas, and bumped into Dear My Friend last time out at Lingfield, who’s subsequently franked the form. Her last run was over a mile and the drop back to 7f should help as she’s a filly who has a lot of speed. The favourite Shouldvebeenaring clearly has the best form in the race, but with the Richard Hannon stable being a little quiet, I suspect he might need the run.

3.15 Wolverhampton – Sir Busker (Each Way)

Connections of Sir Busker probably didn’t expect a 4lb rise in the weights after he finished fourth in the Winter Derby Trial at Southwell last month. That turned out to be a red-hot race, as Enemy and Military Order have both run well in some big races since. This is a step down in grade, and the booking of apprentice jockey Brandon Wilkie will take a handy 5lb. off his back. They will need to go at a strong pace for Sir Busker to be seen to the best effect, but at the prices, I think he can go well each way.

Bet Of The Day: 3.35 Sandown – Golden Son

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