Supreme Novices Hurdle
Everyone has been looking for the horse to beat Appreciate It, but with just eight runners in the field, he might not exist. However odds of 10/11 are plenty skinny and Blue Lord each way from the same stable is a sporting 10/1 bet with just the ‘dead eight’ in the field.
One cannot look past the hotpot Shiskin even with a sight doubt about the form of the stable, but at best price 1/2 it’s a spectacle to enjoy.
Ultima Handicap Chase
This often goes to the British and I like the Scottish trained Aye Right each way, who is a brilliant jumper that stays well. He may well have won last time out had his jockey not dropped his whip at the business end of the race. I’ve been following this horse for some time – he has the class and consistency to land a big pot, he will be suited by Dicky Johnson in the saddle and he’s due a change of luck.
The big one of the day and the mares 7lb allowance may make all the difference. The vibes are strong on reigning champion Epatante, but she is on a recovery mission. It is hard to forget how much distance Goshen had put between himself and the field before his very unlucky mishap in last year’s Triumph and he is a big danger based on his improved last run. However Honeysuckle looks to be still improving, has won on the track, has the form in the book and I’m taking her go give the brilliant Rachael Blackmore her first Champion Hurdle.
This should go to the master mare trainer Willie Mullins with last year’s mares novice winner Concertista, with Dan Skelton’s Roksana for the forecast.
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
I’m hearing good word for Busselton (8/1 an each way price) here and he should give us a good run for our money in a high class and open race. Market may guide any other fancies and Paul Nicholls’ Houx Gris is sure to go well also.
National Hunt Chase
Over recent years this race has begun to attract higher class horses and this year is no different. With the defection of Royal Pagaille to the Gold Cup, the door opened for Galvin who has a nice profile for the race. However Grade 1 winning staying hurdler Next Destination has now been confirmed for this race instead of the Marsh Novices Chase and he has been backed accordingly. At 5/2 he is plenty tight and perhaps the value option is the Mullins / Townend team’s Lord Royal each way at 11/1.
Be Lucky and Happy Punting!