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Horse Racing

Sandown Set For Special Final Fixture Of the Season

Thursday 27th April 2017

The final day of the season at Sandown is always a landmark fixture on the Jumps season calendar, and that will be the case this weekend as we bring the curtain down on another campaign.

There will be a party atmosphere at the Esher Track as the Champion Trainer and Champion Jockey are given their titles in front of the packed crowd. Richard Johnson will be claiming the jockeys title for the second time on the bounce, whilst Nicky Henderson is in pole psotion to claim the trainers crown and both will be hugely popular, and deserving winners.

As well as the awards, we will of course have plenty of racing to take in, with the bet365 Gold Cup the big race to focus on. 

Still known to most as the Whitbread, the bet365 Gold Cup has huge historical importance in the sport, and although that has been diminished slightly over the years, it remains a prize that trainers, owners and jockeys would love to have on their CVs.

We have a strong looking field for the race this year with last year's winning trainer Neil Mulholland having another great chance of claiming the win. The Young Master is back off the same mark he won off last year, whilst Mulholland also has The Druids Nephew and Doing Fine at the top of the market in a three pronged attack.

Paul Nicholls will be hoping Just A Par or Southfield Theatre can do the business, whilst Nicky Henderson will be relying on Vyta Du Roc and Sugar Baron in the big race.

Elsewhere on the Sandown card, we can look forward to a major clash between two of the best chasers in the training in the Celebration Chase. Arkle winner Altior will be stepping out of novice company to take on Queen Mother Champion Chaser Special Tiara in what could be a stunning contest.

Disappointingly, there are only four runners in the field but Special Tiara on decent ground will be the toughest test of Altior's career to date.

The Oaksey Chase has been run three times and each time it has been Menorah who has triumphed on the final day of the season. The Philip Hobbs trained horse maybe be 12 now, but he is being aimed at a remarkable 4th consecutive win in the Grade 2 contest and is the likely favourite.

The decent ground, going right handed and the intermediate trip all play to his strengths and unlike the majority of his rivals, this race has been his main target all season long.

A win for Menorah this weekend would bring the house down at Sandown, but it won't be easy for him against a decent field so that should make for a great occasion.

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