12:35 Sandown

Leg 1 Selections: Chasing Fire, Iliko D’olivate

The opener is the Virgin Bet Novices' Hurdle and Olly Murphy’s CHASING FIRE, who is three-from-three under rules, will be fancied to maintain his unbeaten record and book his ticket for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. He’s two-from-two over hurdles and has won both those starts by a combined 30 lengths. He left the impression a lot more is to come and is well worth his place on the shortlist in leg one. 

ILIKO D’OLIVATE will ensure the favourite doesn’t have it all his own way though, who built on his hurdles debut second at Compiegne when going one better on his stable debut at Taunton last month. He travelled and jumped well and quickened clear on the run-in to score by six lengths. This is clearly a tougher race and he’ll be tackling quicker ground for the first time but he has more to offer.

13:10 Sandown

Leg 2 Selections: Twinjets

Next up we have the Virgin Bet Novices' Handicap Hurdle and it is hard to overlook TWINJETS, who has a great chance of making it win number five from six starts under rules for trainer Milton Harris. He won both his bumper starts on soft and heavy ground, and left his hurdles debut behind in winning both starts since. The form of his Leicester success has been boosted since, whilst he looked to have plenty in hand in beating Twin Power by nine lengths at Plumpton last time. He can extend his winning sequence on handicap debut in leg two. 

13:45 Sandown

Leg 3 Selections: Third Time Lucki, Red Rookie 

In leg three, the Virgin Bet Dolos Handicap Chase, Dolos bids to repeat last year’s win in the race but conceding weight to these might be tough and the Dan Skelton-trained THIRD TIME LUCKI has become too well-treated to not be included in the list. He won three times last season, including in a Grade 2, and while his three runs this term have been underwhelming, he might be reverted to positive tactics. If he can return to something near his best from this dangerous mark, he could be too good for these. 

RED ROOKIE won over fences at Hereford last season and was in the process of running really well in the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival last season until falling at the final fence. He looked in need of his return at Chepstow, but wasn’t disgraced in finishing fifth, and the drop in trip should prove beneficial around here. He remains well-handicapped and should be able build on his latest effort, so Emma Lavelle’s charge has to be respected in a race that should be run to suit. 

14:20 Sandown

Leg 4 Selections: Gerri Colombe, Monmiral

The feature on the card, is the Grade 1 Virgin Bet Scilly Isles Novices' Chase, and whilst the Irish have only won this once before, there’s every chance GERRI COLOMBE will add to that in his bid to keep his unbeaten record intact. He has won all six starts under rules and has beat some good horses in both wins over fences. He claimed the Grade 1 Guinness Faugheen Novice Chase last time with a fair bit up his sleeve and, with improvement on the cards, he is the one to beat in leg four. 

Paul Nicholls has won this race four times in the past and while MONMIRAL has yet so win in his two chase starts, he wasn’t disgraced in either, including when second in the the Grade 2 Dipper at Cheltenham on New Year's Day. I think this course will suit him well as he’s an assured jumper, who will be better suited to these conditions as well. He is a Grade 1 winner over hurdles and the six-year-old has been targeted at this event, and has the qualities to trouble the Irish raider, so he is merits consideration. 

14:55 Sandown

Leg 5 Selections: Coquelicot, Party Business

This is a wide-open event for leg five but Anthony Honeyball has his only runner in the card in the shape of COQUELICOT who is in the form of her life this season. The form of her victories at Ascot and Sandown could hardly have worked out any better, as the runner-up from both events have won since. In her latest victory, she beat subsequent Lanzarote Hurdle winner West Balboa, and despite being up to a career-high mark of 127, this mark doesn’t look beyond her and she ticks most of the trends for the race as well, so she needs considering here. 

Ian Williams’ PARTY BUSINESS came good in a three-mile Grade 3 handicap at Aintree and although he finished lame when last seen at Haydock, he still ran a good race to finish fourth and returns off a pound lower mark here. It is possible he might just need this but I don’t think this mark is out of reach and he has a lot of improvement to offer. If he is ready to roll, this unexposed seven-year-old should be able to make the frame in leg five. 

15:30 Sandown

Leg 6 Selections: Laskalin, Castle Robin

LASKALIN has stepped up his form another notch this year, as he returned an emphatic winner on his return at Ludlow and made a bold bid from the front when third at Newbury under a big weight, only giving way in the closing stages. This slightly lesser distance will be more favourable and his prominent style of racing should prove to be fully effective around this venue. I think he has excellent place claims in leg six. 

CASTLE ROBIN lost his action after a really slow and awkward leap early on at Cheltenham last time, so he has to be taken on trust to get back on track. However, his fourth behind Sounds Russian is a strong piece of form and he is only two pounds above his last winning mark when beating the 140-rated Fern Hill. He has more to come and this course should play to his strengths, therefore, he cannot be discounted.