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Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

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Natural history: only 3 pounds more than Plumpton’s victory last year

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Saturday: 3.35 Sandown
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Just let your mind travel back in time for a moment. It’s the first Saturday of 2019, it’s Sandown, it’s the testing ground and Jane Williams saddles the favorite of the Tolworth Hurdle day final, Monsieur Lecoq, who had just broken his maiden on the fifth attempt.

Let us now return to the present day. In a quirk of the calendar, the Tolworth takes place on the second Saturday in 2022, but it’s still in Sandown, testing is rolling and Jane Williams is leading the favorite for the final, Hermes Boy, who just broke her maiden in the fourth. attempt.

Williams has expressed doubts that Hermes Boy can be executed if the ground gets too heavy, but the case is compelling if he takes a chance.

It clearly doesn’t take Hercule Poirot to see the obvious similarities between Hermes Boy and Monsieur Lecoq. And you can take the comparison further, because Monsieur Lecoq made his debut with a handicap with a score of 122 and Hermes Boy participates in his first handicap with a BHA score of 124.

Lizzie Kelly rode Monsieur Lecoq, claiming 3 pounds, and Chester Williams partners Hermes Boy claiming, yes, you guessed it, 3 pounds. Monsieur Lecoq did the job brilliantly three years ago and one will wonder a lot if Hermes Boy is ready to do the same.

The record of his trainer with similar runners can encourage us on this point. Williams has three winners out of 13 disabled hurdles debutants, including Mr Lecoq in that race three years ago, and that 23% strike rate has brought in £ 10 profit for £ 1 stakes.

Monsieur Lecoq finished second in the Imperial Cup on his next outing and there is a tenuous connection with the race as Natural History started as a 2-1 favorite for the Imperial Cup race last year after an impressive victory at Plumpton 12 days before.

The 101-ranked Flat player was believed to have lost a 132 Imperial Cup mark, but his sixth there was followed by three disappointing runs.

This means he is only 3 pounds heavier than when Plumpton won last year, so he could be quite handicapped.
Race Analysis by Graeme Rodway

O’Brien keen to exploit Volkovka’s brand

Fergal O’Brien considered leading Volkovka in the hurdle of the mares listed on the Sandown chart, but opted for the calmer waters of the handicap company.

The five-year-old belonging to Tyringham Partnership has made giant strides this season under 7-pounder contender Peter Kavanagh, winning at Carlisle before finishing second here on 2m4f.

O’Brien is keen to build on her mark of 132 as she sets off on the journey with Paddy Brennan in the saddle.

“She was phenomenal,” said the fit coach. “She’s restrained, comes with her run and if she’s good enough she’ll win. She looks great at home.

“We had her in the mare race, but we would have had a slight error on the weights with a few and thought we better aim a little lower.”

What they say

Evan Williams, Mack The Man trainer
He loves the track and has had some great races there, including winning a Listed and doing well in the Imperial Cup. He doesn’t have much up his sleeve on ratings, but he’ll face whatever the weather throws at him. It was a poor race in Exeter last time around, but it was nice for him to win it.

Jane Williams, Hermès Boy trainer
I’m not happy with the potential ground for him and he’s not sure if he will run. I am concerned about the amount of rain forecast and the prospect of heavy terrain. He’s never handled this type of terrain before and he’s not a very old horse. If it’s soft ground I would be really positive, but the heavy makes me anxious. He is a very good horse with an excellent pedigree in a race that we have already won with another Diamond Boy [Monsieur Lecoq in 2019].

Alan O’Keeffe, assistant and partner of Jennie Candlish, Mcgowan’s Pass coach
He likes heavy terrains. We’re still getting to know him but he ran well for a long time at Haydock when he probably didn’t make the trip [on stable debut]. It is far from a good mark and we would have high hopes. He is getting old now, but seems to be doing everything right at home. One thing you will need to do is handle the conditions and it will.

Gary Moore, Natural History Trainer
He needs to calm down, but I think he will this time. It’s decent sized terrain and should be a real trail run. He’s got a lot of ability and has lost weight since his last race. He is very disabled now.
Report by Andrew Dietz

The previews of Saturday’s race:

1.50 Sandown: the coach sees “no negative points” for the fancy of our expert in competitive hunting with a handicap

2.25 Sandown: “I hope it wasn’t a flash in the pan” – Nicky Henderson on Constitution Hill

2.40 Wincanton: Getalead ‘absolute star’ in search of a fourth victory for a promising site

3:00 pm Sandown: “It’s been on the radar for a long time” – the old walleyes take center stage

3.15 Wincanton: Former first-year winner Slate House returns to chase career record

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