The powerhouse stables of Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson have won the last five runnings of Sandown’s Tolworth Hurdle and, while Nicholls has no runners declared for the Grade One contest at 2.25pm, Henderson again holds strong claims.
The master from Seven Barrows runs the unexposed Royal Boy and the hat-trick seeking Golden Hoof with the handler looking to make it three wins in a row.
Run over two miles and half a furlong, the Tolworth is open to novice hurdlers. Since 1988 only two four-year-olds have won.
Six of those to win since 2000 (2009 and 2010 runnings were abandoned due to frost) were five years old. Pendra, Golden Hoof and Le Reve meet this statistic.
Barry Geraghty rides Royal Boy as he seeks to make it three wins in a row also. Both Henderson’s other two winners were either having only their first or second start for the yard when they won this race, so inexperience isn’t necessarily an issue for this horse.
The last five winners had only won once before over hurdles which is a positive for Poet and Melodic Rendezvous.
Since 2000, Marcel in 2005 was the only horse to have won more than three races before landing the Tolworth.