1pt win Maximiser @14/1, Sandown 14:25

A good renewal of the Grade-1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase with seven going to post, though the betting market has this as a match between Tea For Two and the five-year-old Bristol De Mai.

Both look too short around the 6/4 mark with class and potential behind them in the betting.

Bristol De Mai is an absolute natural over fences and has only met defeat once this season, when no match for Ar Mad’s speed back at Sandown over two miles at Christmas.

Stepped up in trip, he’s back to winning ways after smooth successes at Leicester and Haydock, though the most recent was just two weeks ago and you’d not want him to have left his form behind now up to Grade 1 company.

Tea For Two won Lizzie Kelly her and her gender’s first Grade 1 success in Britain at Christmas, though that was over three miles in not the strongest of renewals and, whilst undoubtedly a likely winner, the horse is no banker at such short odds.

The two I like in the race both contested a Grade 2 at Newbury in November.

We tipped Ubak on the day and he travelled really well before tiring badly in the closing stages – which was perfectly understandable given he’d not seen the racecourse since April 2013.

When push came to shove his jumping got sloppy at Newbury, and the same trait was evident again when next turned out at Huntingdon in a limited handicap, where he saddled top-weight.

In a messy race he raced greenly and led before unseating Joshua Moore at the last, presumably costing him certain victory.

His trainer Gary Moore insists he needs good ground, which makes sense considering his biggest achievement to date was a 16-length Grade-2 romp at Aintree on spring ground – with future Champion Chaser Dodging Bullets behind.

The ground looks okay at Sandown tomorrow but there is the threat of rain, and I think a sound surface will tidy up his jumping.

If it goes soft I don’t fancy his chances against Bristol De Mai’s accurate jumping or Tea For Two’s proven stamina, so he’s reluctantly passed this time with an eye on his JLT price at the Festival.

The other one I like is 14/1 shot Maximiser.

He was a well-backed 3/1 second-favourite on the day and looked to be going really well before falling, and as a result remains very unexposed.

With the eye-catching booking of Richard Johnson to do the steering and this being a lofty target up against some classy opponents, there’s a lot to like about his profile and his price.

1pt win Maximiser @14/1, Sandown 14:25

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