Min is the 2/1 favourite, there will probably be offers off the day, but it’s worth backing at Skybet (money back if it gets beat as a free bet). Mullins/Walsh has won this race for the last 3 years. Walsh gets the choice of Mullins’s battalions so maybe a tip in itself.
Betfair are also offering 3 x free bet if you have a 3/1 or bigger winner on day 1.
If the ground has good in it I would use this offer to back Altior 9/2 with Betfair.
If the ground is soft i’d probably side with Yorkhill for this bet (Runs in the Neptune)
Douvan looks a stand out in this. Willie Mullins says quite openly it might be the best horse he’s had and that would be quite some claim. At 2/5 it’s just a watching brief for me as these are novices and will be jumping at great speed. If you’re betting something each way Boylesports offer money back for 2nd and 3rd to SP favourite.
Ultima Handicap Chase
Holywell 12\1 (Price going fast) nrnb catches the eye of his weight. Even more so if the ground is good. He won this race two years ago carrying 11st 6. He is set to carry 11st 2 if the weights don’t change. 4th in the Gold Cup last year on unfavourably soft ground.
Fingal Bay 20/1 is a classy horse and if he gets to carry 10st 4 in this he will be a danger. He took the pertemps here two years ago 2 years ago. I get the feeling he’s a better hurdler than a chaser though.
Beg to Differ looks interesting,nicely weighted and has interesting connections
Out Sam 8/1 Needs 12 horses to come out at time of writing, looks like a horse on the way up and would be off a very nice mark if he gets in.
Doctor Harper is a horse entered in many handicaps he is worth backing in whatever race he turns up in. Looka like he runs in the Kim Muir Thursday. Take 7/1 for it there!
Other horses worth noting
Un Temps Pour Tout was bought for nearly 500k. He’s won some top races in France but has been disappointing this season but his mark reflects this. Trainer knows how to win a handicap!
Kruzlinin is a horse that is in form and has been put up on a load of preview nights. Could be on a nice mark.
Caroles Destrier, The Young Master, Theatre Guide and Southfield Theatre would all have a chance. This race should cut up before the day.
This is probably the most open race for years, A very hard race to call.
Annie Power would have obvious claims getting 7lbs off here male counterparts but I suspect she needs 2 miles 5.
Identity Thief is an improving horse beating Top Notch to win the Fighting Fifth earlier in the season. For me it’s an unknown on the track and good ground (if we get it).
Nichols Canyon has beaten Identity Thief and Faugheen this season. Would definitely have a chance if running up to that form.
The New One splits opinion, imho he is too slow for this race but he could well place. That said it’s not the strongest renewal of the race.
My Tent or Yours is the best horse in the race for me at his peak. But he’s had two years off the track and it would be some training feat for his to win. He’s always keen in his races and the better the ground the better his chance.
Annie Power would be a tentative choice as she gets the 7lb mares allowance. But no really strong opinion
Vroum Vroum Mag should win this easily. At 11/10 nrnb Paddy Power (money back second) it’s the bet of the day for me!
Polly Peacham should chase her home.
National Hunt Chase (4 miler) - Amateur riders race
It normally pays to follow the best amateur riders in this race. These are:-
Derek O’ Connor rides the favourite Minella Rocco, JJ Codd will ride Noble Endeavour, Nina will ride Southfield Royale.
Others worthy of note.
Roi Des Francs would be interesting in this but will go RSA most likely, Native River (O’connor jumped off this to ride Minella Rocco), Pont Alexandre was touted as something special a couple of years ago but has had lots of problems. Vincente for Nicholls is joint top rated on racing post rating has will biddick riding and has some pretty decent form to boot. Shaneshill is also interesting if he takes his chance.
I like Bouvreuil for Nicholls in this. My other two against the field would be Aloomomo and **Killer Crow.**(Balloted out)
Again make use of Betfair’s 3 x free bets if you get a winner of 3/1 or more. Sky Bet do money back as free betfor the first race of each day. Paddy Power money back on all seconds. Boylesports money back all 2nd and 3rds to SP favourite. Ladbrokes and Hill will do money back all 2nds on the day I presume as well.