The traditional race to bring down the curtain on the big events of the current National Hunt season takes place at Sandown on Saturday 25th April. This race has had many incarnations over the years and is now in the hands of Bet365.
To those of a certain age it will probably always be “The Whitbread” as the race was run under that banner from its inception in 1957 until 2001, the longest running sponsorship in the sport.
There have been some top class winners of the Sandown race over the years including Arkle, Mill House, The Dikler and Desert Orchid.
This race also provided one of the best finishes ever seen in a National Hunt race when in 1984 Special Cargo was victorious in a heart-pumping, two short head victory from two-time winner Diamond Edge and Lettoch.
The 2009 version promises to be another thriller with a host of good horses entered at this stage including Grand National fourth State Of Play, Irish Grand National runner-up Church Island and Topham Chase runner-up Oodachee.
Current favourite is the Paul Nicholls’ trained Hoo Loo Baloo who is a best priced 7/1 with Stan James.
Check back later in the week when we will be looking at some more of the prices on offer but start giving us your idea of the winner of this wonderful old race.