The Messenger has one bet for Sunday and it is Houblon Des Obeaux at Sandown for Venetia Williams.
Sandown 3.30: Houblon Des Obeaux
Veterans races were framed for exactly the type of horse Houblon Des Obeaux is – an honest, consistent chaser who often finds a younger horse or two too good at the highest level.
The 10yo is now qualified for these races and can make an immediate impact in a race, which despite the smallish field looks full of pace and will therefore be a stamina test. Venetia Williams’ gelding is certainly not lacking in that regard having won three times at this 3m trip.
However his CV in chases makes impressive reading – winner of two Grade 2 chases, two Ascot listed handicaps, second in a Hennessy and third as recently as last December in the Welsh National. This race rates a lot easier. Unusually for a Venetia Williams horse he is also good first time out with a career record of 2911293 – that Welsh National run, for example, being his first start since the previous April. His handicap mark of 141 is also the lowest he has ever had in chases.
1.5pts win – Houblon Des Obeaux – 3.30 Sandown at 3/1 with William Hill