Weekend Watch: The Calm Before The Storm

Sandown’s Imperial Cup card is the focus before the pandemonium at Cheltenham gets going next week, and the Esher venue has some cracking betting heats.

THUNDER ROCK (1.50pm) has been in blinding form, and can continue his upward trajectory. The Olly Murphy trained six-year-old has rattled up three wins over hurdles, including on handicap debut at Huntingdon last time out. The 6lb rise looks fair, and this progressive sort should be firmly in the shake-up here with Adrian Heskin on board.

It’s the big one at 2.25pm, and I wonder whether the Jamie Snowden trained UP FOR PAROL may be a lively outsider here. He is bred to get further, but more often than not, the petrol light has come on when they have stepped him up in distance. He showed some smart form when third in the Persian War back in the Autumn, and it may just be the case that a stiff 2 miles will really suit. The yard have had a great season so far, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Up For Parol had a few pounds up his sleeve off a mark of 132.

Decent ground and right-handed tracks are the key to success for DANNY KIRWAN (3.35pm), and he can follow up his most recent win at Wincanton here. The application of first-time cheekpieces brought about some extra zest on his latest start where he jumped with aplomb. He will be in his element here and looks to be ticking a lot of the right boxes.

In the 4.45pm, the cheek pieces are applied to DEYRANN DE CARJAC. Off 129 he must have every chance of landing this. He has been running much better than his form figures suggest, including in some really hot races thi season, and with a clear round here there will be no excuses with trip and ground fine. It is a case of last chance saloon with the Alan King runner as far as I am concerned!

Enjoy the weekend action, and don’t forget to check out the Three From Home Podcast, where myself, Kate Tracey and Frankie Foster find the winners, and look ahead to the Cheltenham Festival.


Thunder Rock, Sandown 1.50pm – 1pt win @ 11/2 with bet365

Up For Parol, Sandown 2.25pm – 0.5pts each-way @ 25/1 with Betfair

Danny Kirwan, Sandown 3.35pm – 1pt win @ 11/4 with bet365

Deyrann de Carjac, Sandown 4.45pm – 1pt win @ 11/2 with bet365