By Andrew Atkinson
Nicky Henderson trained Call Me Lord in tipped to win the BetWay hurdle Listed race over 1 mile and 7 furlongs at Sandown on Saturday.
Ridden by Daryl Jacob, Call Me Lord won at Cheltenham in December, over 2 miles, when dropped in distance and switched left-handed in the Grade Two race, when beating Ballyandy a neck.
“There was a reason for not going left-handed early on, as everything he did at home was right-handed,” said Henderson.
“We tried him left-handed once – and he was in the car park,” said Henderson, who booked James Bowen to ride, in the wake of injury hit Daryl Jacob, sidelined with a broken hand.
With the Cheltenham Festival on the horizon and Call Me Lord 14-1 ante-post for a Champion Hurdle tilt, a win at Sandown will see those odds slashed.
Seven Barrows trainer Henderson has a possible strong Champion Hurdle hand, in Call Me Lord, Fusil Raffles, Epatante and Pentlands Hills.
“Call Me Lord gets two and a half miles. Pentland Hills has got burly and will come on a lot,” said Henderson
“There are a lot of opportunities for someone to burst through – such as Call Me Lord at Cheltenham,” said Henderson.
Henderson saddles Palladium (12.40) ridden by Nico De Boinville, tipped to win the BetWay Novices Hurdle over 1m 7f.
Sue Smith trained Joke Dancer (1.15) is tipped each-way in the BetWay casino Handicap Chase over 1m 7f, with Danny Cook up.
Laurina (2.25) trained by Willie Mullins, under jockey Nico De Boinville, is tipped to land the BetWay Novices G1 Chase over 2m 4f, under 10st 11lb.
Ask Ben ew and Bold Plan ew (3.00). As De Mee ew; Classic Ben ew (3.35). Stick With Bill (4.10) is tipped to win the BetWay Handicap Hurdle (C3) having raced in Class 1 company at Newbury in December.
*As De Mee, co-owned by Dame Judi Dench, will be profiled in a Feature next week, having been entered in the Aintree Grand National on April 4.