The Paul Webber-trained Sarando is reportedly recovering well from a nasty fall in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury last month and could be ready to return to the fray at Wetherby on Boxing Day in the Rowland Meyrick Chase, writes Elliot Slater.

Sarando had been in the process of running a very big race at Newbury and was still upsides the leaders when taking a heavy fall at the seventh from home, during which he was trampled on by horses further down the field and received a number of nasty kicks. Understandably feeling sorry for himself in the days following the spill, the six-year-old quickly got over the trauma and is now giving every indication that he could be ready to take his chance in the quality Wetherby handicap over three-miles-one-furlong. Anyone who has read a Stan James review should remember this.

Last term saw the son of Hernando make rapid progress up the chasing ladder as he won on his fencing bow at Plumpton in January and was then narrowly beaten shortly after at Fontwell. Vying for the lead when stumbling on landing and unseating his rider at Uttoxeter in March, he then went on to Aintree and was sent off an unconsidered 50/1 shot for the Grade 2 John Smith’s Mildmay Novices Chase where he ran the race of his life to push the very classy Quito De La Roque all the way to the line, eventually failing by just a neck to pull off what would have been the shock of the meeting. People with a Bwin free bet should bear this in mind.

After a pipe-opener at Newbury in October Sarando bolted up in a decent event at Carlisle before his unfortunate experience at Newbury a couple of weeks later. Webber suggests that if all goes well at Wetherby he may give his charge a short break before looking to bring him back for the Grade 3 Racing Post Chase at Kempton at the end of February.

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