These Veterans’ chases have become extremely popular since they were first installed a couple of years ago, and none look more competitive than this Saturday’s affair with 17 runners set to line up.
There are plenty in here that you can make a case for with former winners, Pete The Feat and Buywise, clearly not getting any younger and have lesser claims this time around.
Perennial front-runner, Loose Chips looks set to make the running again on a track he loves. He won a qualifer in the lead up to this back in November and the handicapper has scuppered his chances with a big rise in the weights as a result.
Then there is the Nicky Richards’ yard which has been banging in the winners lately. You have to respect the chances of anything he brings down south at the moment so his entrant Cultrum Abbey is respected.
Rock Gone has solid claims and is the most lightly-raced horse in the field.
His seasonal comeback run was encouraging over couse and distance – when behind Loose Chips – never landing a blow. Rock Gone clearly hasn’t been the easiest to train for Dr. Richard Newland and although he shaped well looks a bit of a weak looking favourite in what is an open renewal.
Loose Chips beat Rock Gone in the Pete The Feat Veterans’ Chase last November with the selection, RATHLIN ROSE back in third.
That was the selections first run of the season and he has won twice on three attempts on his second start of a season. The exception was a failed attempt at the National fences, which can probably be excused.
Rathlin Rose’s record at Sandown is exceptional with three wins on six previous starts and his trainer has good creds in this having won it with Soll back in 2016.
He has been dropped 2lbs for his seasonal opener and has Tom Scudamore back on-board having won on him back in March at Ascot off a 2lb lower mark.
Rathlin Rose is a good stayer and should be finishing in the frame for this with conditions in his favour.
1pt each-way Rathlin Rose @9/1, 15:00 Sandown, Saturday (1/5 odds, six places with Skybet)