Dolos a strong fancy in Sandown opener

Now dropped back in class and trip at a venue he runs well, Dolos is a strong fancy to get back to winning ways in the 2m handicap chase that gets proceedings underway on today’s card at Sandown (1.15).

This Paul Nicholls trained eight-year-old has won twice and been placed on two occasions in five starts over course and distance.

The last of those successes came in this 12 months ago off a mark of 157 where Dolos travelled strongly throughout under 11st 12lb and after being two lengths clear at the last idled on the run-in but was always doing enough in beating First Flow by 1/2 a length.

The runner-up, to whom he was conceding 17lb, is unbeaten in six subsequent starts and landed a Grade 1 last time out to now be rated 166. The pair also pulled 14 lengths clear of the third home, so that gives the form a really solid look.

Dolos was then not at his best next time up at Doncaster, but there was lots to like about his return to action at Cheltenham back in October on his first start since undergoing wind surgery when a keeping on 9 1/2 length fourth of 13 to Rouge Vif.

The winner, to whom he was conceding 5lb, has since run well to finish third in the Grade 1 Tingle Creek at Sandown off an official rating of 164 – so that again gives the form a decent look.

Dolos also shaped well last time out in the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase over 2m 4f at Cheltenham where he led three from home before weakening to finish fourth of eight to Mister Fisher.

He has since been dropped 2lb and is now able to race in this off 158, just 1lb higher than landing the spoils in this 12 months ago.

It gives him major claims at the weights on the pick of his form and the drop back to 2m, over which he has a 23.5 per cent strike rate, is another obvious plus.

Daily Sport recommended bet: 3pts win Dolos (3/1 bet365 – BOG)

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