Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
Keith Melrose tips
  1. Horse Racing
  2. Horse Racing Tips

Saturday's Sandown Horse Racing tips from the Racing Post

It is Imperial Cup day, the last Saturday of racing before the Cheltenham Festival and Keith Melrose from the Racing Post provides his best bets on the day, predicting a big day for trainer Gary Moore.

Horse Racing

Keith Melrose's tips

3.35 Sandown - Kotmask @ 4/1
4.10 Sandown - Ballygrifincottage @ 5/1
4.40 Sandown - Hudson De Grugy @ 13/2

3.35 Sandown - Kotmask @ 4/1

As soon as KOTMASK beat Scarface at Plumpton last month, this established Premier handicap looked the natural next step for him. Gary Moore reportedly agreed and this race has been the plan since.

Technically, Scarface is handicapped to beat Kotmask here. He gets a 3lb swing for just over a length's defeat, and Caoilin Quinn was claiming 3lb off the winner that day too. But Kotmask beat Scarface twice that day: once on the approach to the last, and again after he completely fluffed that fence. Plumpton has a short run-in and they finished fast that day, so it took some doing to re-assert.

Kotmask is already a course winner, over 1m7½f in January, and he is bred to be significantly better over longer trips. He can take this race back to the Moore yard for the second successive year.

Keith Melrose's tip:

Kotmask @ 4/1 - 1pt win

4.10 Sandown - Ballygrifincottage @ 5/1

This 3m handicap chase is a qualifier for the series final at Haydock on Easter weekend. In last year's final, Dan Skelton took the wraps off Jeffrey's Cross, who won it in good style. BALLYGRIFFINCOTTAGE may well be on a similar path this time.

This horse made a promising chase debut at Haydock in November 2022 and was fancied afterwards for the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. He missed that Grade 1 race through a setback and has never quite rediscovered the magic.

There have been glimmers, though, most notably when he was only beaten seven-lengths in a top handicap at Ascot three weeks ago. Once again, he was not unduly rushed through the race and it is suspected that he has a big target on his horizon.

That may be at Haydock, but could as easily be here. In this race three years ago, there was significant money for the Skelton-trained Debece, who shaped miles the best before an aggressive ride caught up with him up the Sandown hill. Whether the aim is to settle a score in this race or get him ready for Haydock, it seems no coincidence that Ballygrifincottage has landed here.

Keith Melrose's tip:

Ballygrifincottage @ 5/1 - 1pt win

4.40 Sandown - Hudson De Grugy @ 13/2

When Gary Moore won the 3.35 last year it was with HUDSON DE GRUGY, who returns to the same course and distance in the card's final race.

Things have not gone to plan since with this horse, although he has suffered more than his share of misfortune. He shaped as though amiss in a similar race on bet365 Gold Cup day next time and has made the track only twice this season.

On the second occasion, he was strong in the betting over 3m here in soft ground. He shaped with promise, but looked to be coming to the end of his tether when falling two out.

Returned to a trip that evidently suits, Hudson De Grugy can bounce back now from a mark lower than he won on this card last year. Novice Es Perfecto aside, he looks the likeliest winner but the betting may not reflect that.

Keith Melrose's tip:

Hudson De Grugy @ 13/2 - 1pt win

Keith Melrose's tips

3.35 Sandown - Kotmask @ 4/1
4.10 Sandown - Ballygrifincottage @ 5/1
4.40 Sandown - Hudson De Grugy @ 13/2

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.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.