Royal Artillery Gold Cup day at Sandown is always one of the season's highlights at the Esher track. Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway returns with his best bets on Thursday.
Bun Doran @ 7/1
Broken Halo @ 7/4
Mamoon Star @ 8/1
Domaine De L'Isle @ 25/1
The 'Ubique' Handicap Chase (1.50) features several promising chasers, but they will all have to go to beat Bun Doran on his best form and he might just find it on drying ground.
Bun Doran has always been at his best on good going and can be forgiven a disappointing run last time at Warwick, when rain came and heavy ground went against him. He had no chance.
He is better judged on his previous form this season, which included a narrow defeat at Ludlow in December off this mark. That proved he still retains his ability at the age of 12.
That was probably a better race than this and he has the class to roll back the years here.
Paul Nicholls and Jody Sole have won two of the last eight runnings of the Castel Royal Artillery Gold Cup (3.00) and they have a great chance for another win with Broken Halo.
The lightly-raced eight-year-old looked a smart prospect when winning by wide margins in novice company at Exeter and Fontwell last year and has slowly been returning to his best.
He finished sixth in a hot race at Chepstow over Christmas and was given a look around this course last time, finishing eighth of 12 in the Masters just 12 days ago after racing out wide.
That appeared to be the perfect preparation for this race, which is significantly weaker, and there could be plenty more to come from Broken Halo on just his eighth outing over fences.
The Healix 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle (3.35) is a strong race for the grade and the market is dominated by promising pair Givega and Immortal, who have strong form lines.
However, Mamoon Star also has his fair share of good form and he might be overlooked following his heavy defeat at Kempton over Christmas when soft going wouldn't have suited.
Put a line through that run and Mamoon Star has plenty of good efforts to his name in bumpers and over hurdles, the pick of which came when winning at Taunton in November.
Mamoon Star upset 1/4 market leader Timeforatune that day and the front two pulled 17-lengths clear of the remainder. A reproduction of that effort on similar ground might do it for him here.
The Alanbrooke Handicap Chase (4.10) is another competitive contest but Domaine De L'Isle was different class to this field in his heyday and might not be past it just yet at the age of ten.
He has now dropped to a mark 17lb lower than when last successful in a hot contest at Cheltenham in April 2021 and this will be the weakest race he has run in for a long time.
He hasn't been totally out of form either, despite form figures of 0UP690, as he ran better than his finishing position suggests when ninth in a hot race at Cheltenham in November.
Domaine De L'Isle acquitted himself well for a long way before fading late and is now 8lb lower than for that run following a disappointing effort in the Becher at Aintree last time.
That can be ignored as it came around Aintree's Grand National fences, in a much stronger race than this, and there is a chance he can bounce back now his sights have been lowered.