WELCOME to my second post where I'm sharing my notes from an excellent preview night on Wednesday.
If you missed Day One's pointers you'll find them here. Otherwise here's how the discussions went for the seven races on Day Two…
The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – Wednesday 1.30pm
Consensus was that Samcro (4-6 BetBright) was the one everyone has to beat, but…
Beefy – Black Op (10-1 BetBright) w/o Samcro
Turner – Paisley Park is worth consideration at a big price if he runs
Julie Williams – Samcro is one they will look to take on, since he has it all to prove. Has a confusing profile in that he has been entered in all three novice hurdle races and has been talked about as a Gold Cup horse. The 8/11 available just now will be bigger on the day.
The RSA Steeple Chase – Wednesday 2.10pm
Punter Paddy – Presenting Percy (5-2 BetBright)is a good thing, although doubts were raised over his campaigning this season. Horses who have tackled shorter distances than 2m 5f are 0/49 in this race and he ran over 2m 4f last time out at Gowran, which also has a stinking 0/58 record of horses having their prep run there before Cheltenham.
Bookmaker legend Alex Farquhar – Monalee (3-1 BetBright) should be the fav for this at 5/2 and Sutton Place shouldn’t be 50/1.
Turner – Ballyoptic (16-1 BetBright) is the best of the UK horses on his Exeter run where he beat Elegant Escape and Barney Dwan.
Beefy – Black Corton (7-1 BetBright) isn’t good enough, none of the UK ones are.
The Coral Cup Hurdle – Wednesday 2.50pm
Turner – Le Breuil (14-1 BetBright) is highly-rated by Ben Pauling and beat Benetar in the novice hurdle ranks. 139 looks a lenient mark and was kept off the track when the stable wasn’t firing, so there has been no jiggery pokery with him.
Beefy – Long House Hall (20-1 BetBright) is an alternative to Le Breuil, who looks strong.
Frank – Long House Hall
Myself – Jer’s Girl is a talented horse who hasn’t tackled a handicap before so this would be very JP McManus-like if she runs here instead of the stayers or mares races.
Robert Thomson (Sun journalist) – Burbank (20-1 BetBright) is of interest given his run at a huge price in last year’s Ballymore and came back to form with cheekpieces on against Jenkins last time out at Ascot.
The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase – Wednesday 3.30pm
Beefy – A race you have to play w/o fav
Turner – Bounce factor for Altior (4-6 BetBright)? Politologue (8-1 BetBright) was only 80% tuned up for the meeting they had at Newbury but is more likely to be ridden for a place now. 10/1 each way is still a decent bet.
The Glenfarclas Handicap Chase (Cross Country Chase) – Wednesday 4.10pm
Consensus seemed to be Elliott holds the card here, Tiger Roll (9-2 BetBright) was mentioned as the bet of the meeting.
The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – Wednesday 4.50pm
Beefy – Nube Negra (9-1 BetBright)
Glenn- Night of Glory (20-1 BetBright) can continue the good record of ex-flat winners, the Balding stable is in good form and 25/1 is a good each-way bet.
Joe Punter – Nick Williams knows how to get the job done in the handicaps, has had 10 placed horses from 18 runners. Was 3rd in this with Coo Star Sivola, won it with Flying Tiger last year and Diable De Sivola was an unlucky 5th. Runs Esprit de Somoza (14-1 BetBright) and Mercenaire (25-1 BetBright) this season, both deserve a close look.
Also, Davy Russell dodged the ride on Whisper for two horses, the second of which was Mitchouka (12-1 BetBright) and that was given an ‘interesting’ ride at Leopardstown over Christmas. Has some very good form and off 135 is a big player.
Robert – I interviewed Brian Ellison last week and he is very sweet on The King Of May (16-1 BetBright). Went close in the race last year with Neitzche
Turner – They believe Max McNeill’s Act of Valour (8-1 BetBright) is a mid-140s horse, was rated 97 on the flat and achieved that rating running for a stable who were out of sorts. Believe he is well handicapped and are considering cheekpieces to eke out a bit more from him, since he wore headgear on the flat. Ground should be fine and Nicholls has a fantastic record in the race.
The Weatherbys Champion Bumper – Wednesday 5.30
Myself – Blackbow (5-1 BetBright) has the strongest form and is the highest-rated bumper horse around, 17lbs higher than last year’s winner Feynoagh. Rhinestone (8-1 BetBright) is also a player, as could be the UK’s best one Acey Milan (8-1 BetBright).
Alex Farquhar – Last year’s bumper was the worst in years, likes Hollowgraphic for the Mullins stable and Carefully Selected (12-1 BetBright).
Beefy – Didtheleaveuouttoo (6-1 BetBright), but concerns over softening ground.
Turner – Felix Desjy (7-1 BetBright)looks to be a rare Gigginstown runner in this race so that has to be a pointer. Seddon (33-1 BetBright) is overpriced at 50/1 and will have the advantage of making a short trip from his box at the nearby Tom George yard only a couple of hours before the race, rather than travel.
Frank – Know The Score (20-1 BetBright) cost £400,000 but could be more of a stayer than a bumper winner.
Click here for Day Three's notes.