Yanworth has the stand out form in this race, including an eye-catching course win at Cheltenham in January.4/4 over hurdles and 4th in Cheltenham bumper he looks the one to beat. He is short but Paddy Power are doing a special today and you can get 2/1
The Skybet offer means you can go in again and get your money back as a free bet if he’s beaten.
If you want to edge your bets you can cover Yorkhill if he goes here with the Skybet offer
More Of That 9/4 is my choice here. He’s had his problems but is very classy. He won the Grade 1 World Hurdle here (Annie Power 2nd). A P McCoy is very confident he will win and that’s good enough for me. He is 4/4 at Cheltenham which is also in his favour.
No More Heroes is an obvious danger and a lot of people like him, 3rd in the Albert Bartlett last year and unbeaten in 3 chases. I’m siding with More of That.
Blaklion is a tough consistent horse and may be worth an e/w bet.
This race is a minefield. 26 runners all weighted to finish level. A lot have multiple entries. 154 currently still in it as possibles! You sometimes need luck in running.
The trends say back the horses in form. So on that basis I am having:-
Diamond King 10/1
Rock The Kasbah 14/1
Abre de Vie 10/1 would be next choice. 4th behind No More Heroes last year in the Albert Bartlett looks good form.
Un De Sceaux looks the likely winner. UDS has won 14/16 of it’s races. Only beaten when falling twice.in Ireland. So basically, if he jumps round he’s the one to beat. You may get a few offers of even money on the day. Watch out for these.
Sprinter Sacre is as good as anything I’ve seen in his pomp. He is probably 10lbs below his best these days. I’d love to see him win and and come back to his electric best. What a race we would have then. Believe me SS on his day was a joy to behold.
Dodging Bullets is the current champion but he won a weak renewal last year and has had a very interrupted preparation this season.
Special Tiara is expected to take on UDS for the lead, as they think the would upset UDS. I don’t think it will make any difference.
Normally time to get a beer. The jump all sorts of weird obstacles including Cheese Wedges, A Grand National Fence, a little gate, a bank, some little hedge thing and a cuddly toy. It’s all going on!
It was previously a handicap but is now a conditions race, which means they race off level weights.
Josies Orders is the race favourite and the softer the ground the better for him. He’s won the last 2 races of this type at Cheltenham
Balthazar King broke a rib when falling in the Grand National last season. He was 50/50 to actually survive at one stage so that tells you how serious that injury was. He would want good ground, faster the better. His Cheltenham record (last 7 races) 1,1,2,1,1,1,1 so pretty handy if he’s anywhere near his best.
Foxrock 7/1 is a higher rated horse than many of these so if he takes to this specialist race, he would have obvious chance. Third Intention is also interesting for the same reason. NON RUNNER
Any Currency is worthy of a mention. He’s now 13 and has come second in the last 2 of these at the festival. R’ivage dor won this last year so has course and distance form.
Uncle Junior is a stalwart of the race. He’s 15 year old!
A big runner handicap for 4 years olds. All are open to measurably improvement.
Diego Du Charmil has never raced in England. The story goes that Paul Nicholls who trains DDC rang up the handicapper to get a English h/cap mark. I think when the handicapper gave him 133, Nicholls spat out his tea and decided to keep this mark for Cheltenham. To which the handicapper allegedly said you’ll have a lot of fun of that mark. His price has halved accordingly so maybe any value is gone. Nicholls has done a similar thing with winning this race with Qualando and Sanctuaire in the last 5 years.
Will wait on confirmed runners before choosing my other bets in this
Flat race which can be a bit of a lottery.
Ballyandy probably has the best form on the racetrack so far so has to be on the shortlist.
Augusta Kate is owned by a who’s-who of the Northeast. Ant and Dec, Alan Shearer etc. She quickened nicely in her two runs so far. She is a mare and they don’t have a great record in this race plus Mullins says she shows nothing at home.
New to this Town 10/1 Jessica Harrington has a good record in this race so worthy of note. Recently bought by big owners the Potts.
High Bridge 12/1 Trained by Ferguson is apparently off to Godolphin after this. If that’s true then you need him on side in this race. He’s already beat Mullins’s Avenir D’une vie who is 10/1.
Mullins has half the runners in this race and .Avenir D’une vie and Battleford are no without chances.
One other interesting one is First Figaro for Dermot Weld. Could be ridden by Pat Smullen who is a flat jockey. He would be interesting as well
Ladbrokes also have money back as free bet if the SP Fav wins the race, first race each day