THE best of the action on Sunday is at Cheltenham and Thommo picks out his four best bets for the day.
THE Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham is a crackerjack, with in-form Verdana Blue installed the early favourite on the back of two recent impressive victories.
She has a big weight to carry and is much worse off with Old Guard on their Kempton running in October. Old Guard won this in 2015 and finished third last year, but two miles looks on the sharp side these days.
STORM RISING (3.00) catches the eye further down the weights. He has won both his starts for Dr Richard Newland since his switch from Denis Hogan in Ireland. Storm Rising dotted up over course and distance on his seasonal return and followed up with little fuss at Wetherby (runner-up Cornborough won yesterday).
Although a stone higher now, Charlie Hammond takes off 5lb and Storm Rising prefers good ground. There is any number of dangers but with most firms offering generous each-way terms I’ll be very disappointed if Storm Rising isn’t involved in the finish.
CLAIMANTAKINFORGAN (1.50) will be hard to beat in the Arkle Trophy Trial. Nicky Henderson’s gelding made a satisfactory debut over fences when accounting for Chesterfield at Uttoxeter. He jumped well and probably would have scored a bit more decisively but for stumbling two out.
SCEAU ROYAL (2.25) can reward favourite backers in the Grade 2 Chase. Alan King’s gelding, a smart hurdler on his day, made a brilliant transition to fences last season, winning four of his five starts (beaten in photo on the other occasion). He had Brain Power in his pocket when Nicky Henderson’s horse unseated rider at Sandown last December and can confirm that form.
Le Prezien, winner of the Grand Annual at the Festival in March, has plenty of solid chase form and made a fine reappearance at Ffos Las when second to Silver Streak in the Welsh Champion Hurdle.
SEDDON (3.30) looked smart when making a winning bumper debut at Musselburgh and has since landed a hurdle event at Stratford. Tom George’s gelding remains unexposed and seems to prefer a sound surface.
16:45 Lingfield - Race: 1
17:00 Haydock - Race: 1
17:10 Royal Ascot - Race: 7