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22 Feb 2019

Devon National Handicap Chase (Class 3)

I spent quite a while on this race and one horse does pop out as offering a value angle.

Owner Brocade Racing used to quite regularly play the PU last time out trick with the Pipe yard, ahead of a serious crack at a little staying pot at a provincial track, and they have an interesting runner with that profile lining up today.

The market assumes SANDY BEACH is a horse losing the will to compete three runs after wind surgery - and that may be the case - but the gelding was previously PU in his only start at Sandown and I think it's just as likely that last run was intended to drop him a few pounds ahead of today. It's not as though he was running especially badly before wind surgery.

If this proves correct, then it was mission accomplished and he lines up realistically treated at a track he likes, over an ideal-looking trip in the advertised conditions. 

Colin Tizzard also has an excellent record in the race: 2 wins from 8 runners with 2 also finishing 4th in 14 runner fields. In fact, he's a man who in general has a habit of popping up with well-treated horses to do well in decent handicaps of all sorts.

Speculative, and it may not be pretty to watch even on a going day, but Sandy Beach has the whiff of value about him and looks fairly priced to find out.

4.20 Exeter, Sandy Beach 0.75pt EW 16/1, 3x1/4

** Great run, fast closing 3rd to collect place money, just given a bit too much to do **

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at: WWW.ENIGMARACING.NET/RACING-FORUM

It's Devon National day at Exeter racecourse

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