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2019 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase – 2/1 shot to Vinndicate Bailey’s faith with Sandown success

David Bass and Vinndication can continue their unbeaten record at Sandown this weekend.

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the Grade One feature at Sandown and provide readers with his tips on Saturday 2nd February.


Saturday’s card at Sandown is headlined by the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase, a two-and-a-half-mile Grade One which boasts a glittering roll of honour. Bristol De Mai, Top Notch and Terrefort have claimed glory at Sandown in the previous three season, but the most famous Scilly Isles winner is undoubtedly Best Mate, who went on to win three Gold Cups at Cheltenham after scoring at Sandown in 2001.

The betting for this year’s renewal is very tight, with little to separate a trio of talented novices at the head of the betting. Lostintranslation (9/4 Unibet) and Defi Du Seuil (5/2 Unibet) clashed in the Dipper at Cheltenham on New Years Day, with Colin Tizzard’s charge coming out on top, battling back bravely after being headed by his rival jumping the last.

Lostintranslation traveled to Cheltenham on the back of two defeats behind La Bague Au Roi (8/1 Unibet) – finishing a close second at Newbury before a serious blunder two from home denied him all chance of challenging in the Berkshire. After claiming his first victory over fences in the Dipper, Tizzard claimed his youngster had as much talent as stable stars Native River and Thistlecrack, so it’s no surprise to see him carry such a short price here, and for the JLT at the Cheltenham Festival.

Defi Du Seuil has made excellent progress since a dismal jumping display on his chasing debut behind Lalor at Cheltenham. Philip Hobbs’ former Triumph winner comfortably saw off Topofthegame and Black Op to win at Exeter on his second start and gave an excellent account of himself in the Dipper. He, too, sits prominently in the JLT betting and Hobbs will fancy his charge's chances of turning the tables on his market rival.

Heading the pair in the betting is Kim Bailey’s Vinndication (2/1 Unibet), who remains unbeaten in six starts under rules. After ending his time over hurdles with strong victories over Champ and Western Ryder, Bailey’s six-year-old has secured two decent victories over fences. Vinndication’s most recent triumph came in the Noel Novices’ Chase at Ascot, where David Bass’ mount needed little encouragement in seeing off Jerrysback to claim a maiden Graded victory.

Ok Corral (10/1 Unibet) features in the betting, but dropping back to 20-furlongs would be a strange way to prepare for the National Hunt Chase and JP McManus already has Defi Du Seuil entered. La Bague Au Roi was also handed an ante-post entry by Warren Greatrex, but the Dublin Racing Festival is on her agenda and she will only travel to Sandown if that meeting is disrupted by snow.
Crucial Roll (20/1 Unibet) and Mulcahys Hill (16/1 Unibet) haven’t shown anything to suggest they are up to Grade One standard. Neither has Dell Oro (20/1 Unibet), despite a decent handicap triumph last time out. Rio Quinto (33/1 Unibet) may have recorded a resounding success on his only start over fences, but this is a steep leap in quality compared that Class Four and Olly Murphy’s youngster is likely to struggle.

The only entry of note further down the betting is Articulum (25/1 Unibet), who could make the journey over to Sandown from Terence O’Brien’s stable in Cork. The nine-year-old finished second to Getabird on his chasing debut, before handing Gordon Elliott’s Campeador a sound beating on his second start. He's now rated 13 pounds higher than the mark he reached over hurdles and is very lightly raced for his age, so Articulum must be respected should he feature in the final field.

That being said, there’s no getting away from the fact that the top three in the market are head-and-shoulders clear of their rivals. Lostintranslation holds the lowest price of the trio in the JLT and he could be the best bet looking ahead to the Festival. Yet, this will be his first start on a right-handed track – with all his previous runs coming on testing, left-handed courses – and I fear Sandown may be a little too sharp for a horse who looks more of a stayer than a speedster.

Defi Du Seuil was giving Lostintranslation four pounds in the Dipper and has an excellent chance of reversing that form at level weights. I do, however, find myself being sucked in by the aura surrounding VINNDICATION and it’s clear Kim Bailey has a very smart chaser on his hands.

Vinndication never wins by a wide margin, with a four-length triumph in a novices' hurdle the widest victory he's ever recorded. The form figures alone suggest his performances are workmanlike, but David Bass has never had to ask the six-year-old any serious questions. There are clearly a couple more gears that this talented chaser has never had to search for.

Bailey and his team believe Vinndication is a Gold Cup horse, despite the fact he’s never raced on a left-handed track. Whether he will reach that level, only time will tell, but one thing you can say for certain is that Vinndication is tailormade from a challenge like the Scilly Isles and he will be hard to beat at Sandown.


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2019 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase – 2/1 shot to Vinndicate Bailey’s faith with Sandown success

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the Grade One feature at Sandown and provides readers with his tips on Saturday 2nd February.

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