Betting Tips

Racing Betting Tip: Brain Power can out-wit Buveur D’Air in Contenders showdown at Sandown Park

1.50pm, Sandown Park – Brain Power at 11/8 (2.38) Paddy Power


Recommended Bet:

1.50pm Sandown Park – Brain Power at 11/8 (2.38) Paddy Power

In a surprising move by JP McManus & Co, top novice chase prospect Buveur D’Air bids to build on his novice hurdle promise and go down the Champion Hurdle route, starting with the Betfred Contenders Hurdle at 1.50pm in Sandown Park on Saturday afternoon.

The last time this six-year-old was seen over hurdles was beating Petit Mouchoir at Aintree, where that horse went off at 40/1 and only lost by a neck. The form of that race was questionable enough, until Petit Mouchoir became a champion hurdler in Ireland this season.

This may have been the reason for the change of heart, but either way Buveur D’Air faces a big test in the form of stablemate BRAIN POWER, who catapulted his form to another level last time out and is on the brink of becoming a real live-wire for the Champion Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Check out our Cheltenham Betting guide.

Up 7lb for his Sandown win, Brain Power is clearly getting it together now and took a quality Ascot handicap in impressive fashion from a mark of 149. The handicapper has put him up to an official rating of 162 on the back of that, suggesting this six-year-old is on the fringe of being a top notch Grade 1 hurdler. He travelled powerfully at Ascot and readily asserted his will to win with a ton in hand.

Horses such as Binocular have used this race as a stepping stone to Cheltenham and this appears to be a match-up between two very exciting prospects. Paul Nicholls has Irving in the race and the Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner has to be respected, but in truth he is vulnerable to an improver and Brain Power is perhaps the most interesting Champion Hurdle hope in training at the moment, certainly from a handicapping point of view on the back of a real statement win last time out.

Nicky Henderson has a 27% strike rate at Sandown and looks a shoo-in to build on that in this race, but it is Brain Power that gets the nod as the selection.