Racing Post tipster Robbie Wilders has selected pair of horses at Warwick for his two best bets across the card on Wednesday.
Sandown's EBF Final on Imperial Cup day in March always works out superbly and last season's running was no different. Seven of the field scored on their next start, while there have been three other subsequent winners including next weekend's Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle protagonist Crambo.
We haven't seen fourth home ETALON since the EBF Final, and he is handicapped to make a big splash first time out in this novice handicap chase off a mark of 120, following a 1lb rise for that.
Etalon is evidently well thought of as he was sent off the 7/4 favourite to beat subsequent Top Novices' Hurdle runner-up Strong Leader (now rated 147 after finishing second in Ascot's Grade 2 Coral Hurdle recently) on his second start over hurdles, but lacked the class of the winner.
He bolted up in a weaker event at Wetherby next time before running a sound race in the EBF Final, travelling superbly until the second-last (hit a low of 4/1 in running for that 16-runner contest), before failing to stay as strongly as a few others.
The drop back four-furlongs in trip to two miles is in this six-year-old's favour ahead of his chasing debut, and he was not overfaced in his novice hurdle campaign to keep something back for the following season over fences according to Dan Skelton's recent Racing Post stable tour.
It is an obvious concern that plenty of Skelton's horses have been needing the run somewhat on their comebacks, but he could hardly have been found a weaker novice handicap in which to return.
He has been entered for plenty of races over the past few weeks without being declared regardless, so should be ready to do himself justice, and I'd be disappointed if he didn't dismiss these rivals before adding further success over fences off a potential gift of an opening mark.
The following 2m4f Listed mares' novice chase adds a touch of class to proceedings and Arclight is odds-on at the early prices for Nicky Henderson.
This precocious four-year-old has impressed in both starts over fences and won a similar contest in nice style at Exeter last time, but has clattered one in each start and she could be vulnerable to ENDLESS ESCAPE off 5lb worse terms than when the pair met at the Devon track.
Endless Escape does have 19-lengths to find with the hot favourite, but she was returning from 249 days off following a wind op with a first-time tongue-tie added, and the expectation is she will improve a good bit from her debut outing over fences with race fitness now on her side. She certainly travelled well up to a point and gives the impression a decent campaign awaits in this discipline.
Endless Escape was a talented novice hurdler, winning four on the spin in good style before outrunning odds of 125/1 when seventh to You Wear It Well in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle on soft ground at the Cheltenham Festival, so shouldn't be fazed by the testing conditions, while her lesser-known connections mean she might be underestimated.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.