IT was another day of highs and lows on Thursday. Second place for Apache Stronghold who found Vautour far too good in the first as had been the fear. That was followed by a cracking win for Call the Cops at 10-1 in the second race which was a great boost to the coffers.

Johns Spirit didn't find enough coming up the hill to get a place when it looked for all the world that he was going to pass a few of them and lay down a challenge but a magnificently timed ride from the champ on Uxizandre left them all trailing in his wake.

Whisper was another who threatened to come and lay down a challenge but was caught for toe and faded at the death. A remarkable win for Cole Harden who didn't have the form to enter my calculations but he has clearly benefited greatly from his wind operation. The two handicaps after that were tricky but Buywise got us a place in the last to keep things respectable.

I can’t believe it’s time for Day 4 and the Gold Cup already.  If only we could do this every week.

1.30 – JCB Triumph Hurdle

–       2 miles
–       4 year olds only
–       Lots of promising young hurdlers with several who are unbeaten

A race for the best four year old hurdlers and so much of this comes down to has trained on well and who has improved the most.  Several of these have been eye-catching including Peace and Co who looks likely to go off as favourite but there are other contenders.

Main Selection: Beltor

His form in the Adonis Hurdle a few weeks ago was as good as any of the form shown by other contenders and I like the fact that this race comes quickly afterwards.  That race won’t have taken too much out of him and I think he has what it takes to challenge today.  This would also be a bit of a fairytale win because his trainer Robert Stephens has a very small operation and it would be a real victory for the little guy.

Each way selection: Petite Parisienne

The only female in the lineup has a great chance the way I see it.  She won really well at Leopardstown in February and looks like real each way vale.

Betting Suggestion:

Beltor – 2 points each way at 6-1 with Totesport

Petite Parisienne – 2 points each way at 9-1 with Totesport

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