Hopes high for Sandown

Officials at Sandown are “very hopeful” of Saturday’s big card, which includes the rearranged Victor Chandler Chase, beating the weather.

The card also includes the Grade One totesport.com Scilly Isles Novices Chase and the Grade Two HBLB Cleeve Hurdle, the latter having also been transferred from Cheltenham’s abandoned card last Saturday.

With the recent cold snap claiming numerous jumps meetings in the past fortnight, connections are running out of time to get prep runs in to their horses in time for Cheltenham, but Andrew Cooper, clerk of the course at Sandown, had some good news.

“I don’t think we are going to be entirely clear until we get to Saturday morning,” he said. “But my personal view is that it should be fine.

“It is clearly very cold at the moment. We’ve dipped down to just below freezing last night and today we are not much higher than zero. We would have raced without a shadow of a doubt today though.

“We still have quite a bit of cloud cover which is stopping the overnight temperatures dropping too severely. It is going to be cold again tonight and tomorrow, but there is a suggestion that it could be a bit warmer on Saturday.

“I wouldn’t rule out calling a precautionary inspection for Saturday morning just in case though. But thankfully it doesn’t look as if the night-time temperatures are going to be toosevere.

“We would be crazy to say we were confident, but at this stage we are very hopeful of racing going ahead.”

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