1pt win Secret Squirrel @6/1, 1pt win Fiercely Proud @9/1, 13:50 Sandown, Saturday

2m (1m7f216y) bet365 Novices’ Championship Final Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4yo+)

A highly competitive renewal. I can’t find any reason why FIERCELY PROUD won’t go extremely close given his trainer says he’s been trained for the race and he brings in solid Grade 2 form. Good ground will suit him and perhaps bring out a bit of improvement. He thrashed top weight Panjari when second to Lump Sum at Kempton on soft going, and got a lot closer to Lump Sum when on good ground at Doncaster. He’s a sound jumper and there are no negatives for a 9/1 shot. At Kempton I advised a bet on SECRET SQUIRREL against Fiercely Proud and Lump Sum, and he was a non runner. He’s since had a run on the all weather in a flat race before returning to obstacles with a commanding win at Taunton which put him up to a mark of 126 – 4lb below Fiercely Proud. They’ve both followed home Jeriko Du Reponet this year and I’d have them of very similar ability so have to back them both here.

1pt win Secret Squirrel @6/1, 13:50 Sandown, Saturday
1pt win Fiercely Proud @9/1, 13:50 Sandown, Saturday

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