Sandown G3 Heroes Handicap Hurdle Ante-Post Betting Preview

The G3 Heroes Handicap Hurdle is among the big races we can look forward to on Saturday and it takes place at Sandown (3:00pm). Saddlers Encore was the 2016 Champion. Which horses are bettors already getting behind, in our ante-post market?

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Rolling Dylan

The 5-year old is remarkably consistent, having finished 1st or 2nd in all bar one of his 7 races (and 3rd in the other). The Indian River colt won a Class 4 contest at Uttoxeter, before narrowly being beaten by Shantou Bob in a Class 2 handicap at Chepstow in December. The winner gave him almost a stone though and he’ll need to run a very good race to win this, despite being 4lb better-off than at Chepstow.

Desert Sensation

The Authorized gelding is also a 5-year-old, but has considerably more experience. Poor visibility prevented us from seeing a great deal of his December victory at Ascot, but he was just 5 lengths behind Rolling Dylan at Chepstow. Desert Sensation will be 5lb better-off, this time around and should go very close.

Behind Time

Won a Class 3 contest at Cheltenham, in November, despite running very green and taking the scenic route to the winning-post. Harry Fry’s inmate still showed signs of inexperience, when 4th at Newbury – hanging left and finishing 4th (went off as a 10/11 favourite). Has the raw ability, but needs to get his act together and the handicapper has not been especially kind. Geraghty booking is an obvious plus.

This race is wide-open and cases can be made for Mr Mix (Paul Nicholls’ has won 4 of the last 7 renewals), Ruacana, KK Lexion, El Terremoto and Lord Of The Island. The likes of Little Boy Boru. Valhalla and Fortunate George will all appeal to each-way backers.

Former Champion, The Brilliant Baracouda

Not too many big-name horses have won this race, although one that stands out is the 2004 Champion Baracouda. This was a remarkable stayer, who was trained by Francois Doumen and owned by JP McManus.

He also won the Prix Leon Olry-Roederer (2000), the Long Walk Hurdle (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004), the National Spirit Hurdle (2001), the Prix Hypothese (2001), the Distance Championship Hurdle (2001), the Ascot Hurdle (2001, 2002), the Rendlesham Hurdle (2002), the World Hurdle (2002, 2003) and the Long Distance Hurdle (2003, 2004).

The French bay won 10 consecutive races, between November 2000 and November 2002 and will always be fondly-remembered by punters.

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