Free Tips For Tolworth Hurdle Day 2020
Published on 03/01/20
Sandown Racecourse stages its Tolworth Hurdle Day on Saturday 4 January, with the eponymous Tolworth Hurdle being the grade 1 highlight. But the most valuable race on the card is the £60,000 Unibet Veterans’ Handicap Chase.
Check out our stats, analysis, and free tips for Sandown.
Unibet Tolworth Hurdle 2020 Analysis
14:25 at Sandown on 4th January
This grade 1 hurdle is run over 1 mile 7 furlongs and 216 yards and it has been won by plenty of horses that have gone on to even greater success. Those winners include the 2018 winner Sommerville Boy, who won the 2018 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and the 2020 Relkeel Hurdle back at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
But Summerville Boy is the only winner in the last nine editions of this race that has not won their previous outing. So, whilst it’s possible to win having been beaten last time, the stats are against Calva D’Auge, Logan Rocks, and Jeremy’s Flame.
Hang In There is officially the highest-rated horse in the field after winning his last two starts but his trainer Emma Lavelle only managed two winners in December. But Paisley Park showcased just what Lavelle can do when she’s got a good one, so further grade one glory isn’t ruled out.
The stable of Fergal O’Brien is also no stranger to grade one success, and his Silver Hallmark should handle the prevailing soft-to-heavy conditions as a son of Shirocco. He beat the highly regarded McFabulous on his hurdles debut, but that horse has since been beaten further.
Nicky Henderson has the best record of any trainer with a runner in the race and he’s saddled four of the last nine winners, though none of the last four. Henderson’s Son Of Camas beat another highly-regarded type on his hurdle debut at Newbury, and plenty of horses that run well there also run well at Sandown.
Unibet Veterans' Handicap Chase Analysis
15:00 at Sandown on 4th January
It’s amazing to think this handicap for horses aged 10 and older is worth more than double the grade one Tolworth, and it’s easy to see why any trainer with a veteran chaser worthy of his place in the line-up will have targeted the race.
This is just the fifth edition, and winners so far have been aged 11 (two), 12, and 13. They’ve been rated 124, 135, 138, and 145, and have carried 10-1, 10-8, 11-3, and 11-9.
Despite their advancing years, plenty of the runners are still above or around their last winning marks. That includes Kings Odyssey and Vieux Lion Rouge, both of whom have more weight than any other winner of the race. That mark also applies to course winner Carole’s Destrier who, despite being on a much lower mark than at his peak, would prefer another two furlongs.
Burtons Well is 5lb higher than his last winning mark, but he is trained by last year’s winning trainer Venetia Williams. Meanwhile, last year’s runner-up Theatre Guide could go well off the same mark hasn’t won for three years.
Abolitionist has been out of form for a while, but there is no better target trainer than Dr Richard Newland.
Short Stepper also needs to return to a level of form he’s not shown for a while. The Wild West Wind has won off a 4lb higher mark but there could be an obvious reason why this mistake-prone chaser has not run before at the stiff jumping test that is Sandown.
Jepeck has shown improved form over hurdles of late but needs to transfer that to fences, whilst Regal Flow normally needs a stiffer test of stamina to be seen at his former best. Horatio Hornblower has won his last two and has placed in both previous run at Sandown but is up in the weight and class this time.
Dark Flame made the shortlist due to his second to Houblon Des Obeaux over course and distance in November, but the horses behind him weren’t up to much.