Give Me A Copper (Timeform rating 143p) – Sandown, Saturday 2nd February
Give Me A Copper clearly hasn’t been the easiest horse to train, now a nine-year-old and having had only seven starts under Rules (he won in points). However, he shaped very well on his first run for 15 months when finishing fourth in a useful handicap on what was effectively just his second start over fences at Sandown last weekend. He looked ahead of his mark for a long way until fitness told, travelling well in touch until a mistake three out seemingly took the wind out of his sails, weakening when again not fluent at the next obstacle. Give Me A Copper is almost certain to improve further over fences, provided he continues to stand training, looking sure to give a good account in similar races in the future. Paul Nicholls
Casko d’Airy (Timeform rating 123p) – Sandown, Saturday 2nd February
Casko d’Airy showed the benefit of a first-time tongue strap (had reportedly suffered a breathing problem the time before) when routing his field on handicap debut at Ascot in December. That race is working out well, too, and as a result he was sent off the joint-favourite for the Heroes Handicap at Sandown last weekend. For all he was unable to live up to his market billing, only able to finish fifth, beaten over 10 lengths, he still shaped well in a deeper race, not seen to best effect. He didn’t get the clearest of runs, going well when having to wait for a gap approaching the straight, but making progress on the inner after the second last.
Casko d’Airy doesn’t appear to be a thorough stayer over three miles, given how he tied up on the run-in, but he remains a potentially useful type, and he should be up to winning more races from a mark in the high 120s, especially if finding a race over two and a half miles. Paul Nicholls
Roksana (Timeform rating 141) – Sandown, Saturday 2nd February
Roksana was very progressive in novice hurdles last season, winning three times, but her best effort came when finishing runner-up to Santini in the Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree. That looks strong form with Santini now favourite for the RSA at Cheltenham, albeit in a different discipline, and Roksana made a very encouraging return up against Champion Hurdler Buveur d’Air at Sandown on Saturday. Down markedly in trip, she shaped well under sympathetic handling on her first start out of novice company, pushed along briefly two out and never on terms. Harry Skelton almost certainly rode Roksana with an eye to the future, and she holds entries in both the Stayers’ Hurdle and Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, likely to hold leading claims in the latter race based on her novice form. Dan Skelton