Sandown 3.00

Sandown 3.00 Handicap Chase - Veterans Final - Class 2 - 3 miles - Soft - 13 run (some possibly heavy rain late morning)
On the balance of known form it's hard to by-pass ASO for Venetia Williams but I feel this trip stretches the horse given its preference to race prominently and I feel it could be taken on up front and expend early energy by Indy Five and Dancing Shadow, bith of whom like to get on with it. It's possible Aso could track them and kick on with some of the others out of their comfort zone and never getting in a blow, but the more rain that falls late morning, the more i think those 3 could set the race up for others.
Final Nudge in that context has an undeniable chance but in a race of this nature I don't really want to be taking 4/1 or less on anything. Gwencily Berbas delivered a career best run at Exeter last time over 3 miles and 6 furlongs and the early pace there did play in to the stamina that had been somewhat untapped. He comes here clearly in the form of his life and with an excellent each way chance but in deeper than he has been before.
Rolling Dylan for the Hobbs team is very consistent and a big danger on that form, it went P2P racing at one point and fell back in love with the sport but would not want too much rain and that weather forecast just puts me off him today.
I'm left with 2 main fancies and one that I think is a dark horse primed for the race, SIR IVAN was 3rd in this race last year, looks to have been prepped for the race again by Harry Fry, he runs off a 5lbs lower mark with the claim taken in to consideration and conditions should be ideal. WANDRIN STAR is a Course and Distance winner for Kim Bailey it runs best freshened up and is up 3lbs for a win first time up and is another who won't be inconvenienced by any softening of the ground.
I can;t quite work out whether the very lightly raced THE KINGS WRIT has been aimed at this race specifically or is using it as a springboard for a few Spring races. Either way its very fresh off a nice mark of 133 with an excellent 7lbs Claimer on board and looks ready to win races either today or very soon and one to track onwards whatever happens here.
TIP - Sir Ivan / Tracker - Wandrin Star - shrapnel - The Kings Writ