The action starts on Thursday where there are some favourites that I think are worth following and one or two bigger priced bets.
A competitive novice chase without any of the winners from the Cheltenham Festival. I swore two starts ago that I would never back Finians Oscar again – he doesn't appear to have the heart for this game and I am steering well clear. Modus is perhaps just a bit below this level and I suspect he will drop into handicap company in due course. Brain Power was thumped at Cheltenham by Footpad but he did finish second and that may still be decent form if Footpad is as good as he looks. The one that I like is CYRNAME for Paul Nicholls who skipped Cheltenham and comes here fresh and looks like he could have the quality to take this.
We Have A Dream and Apple's Shakira are the two obvious ones at the top of the market but I like the chances of MALAYA at the current prices and will take her each way against the field. She has been progressing nicely and doesn't have too much to find on form. Nube Negra ran well in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham and as another each way shot to consider.
Despite horses coming from Cheltenham having a poor record in this race I think MIGHT BITE will buck that trend, especially when there is more of a gap between the two festivals this year. He is top class and the others here are decent but not up to his level. I'm going to put him in a double with my next selection.
This distance should be perfect for SUPASUNDAE who is the best of these and may yet improve further. L'Ami Serge can't be trusted to get the job done, The New One is probably regressing at this stage and My Tent Or Yours is a consistent old sort but missed his intended target at Cheltenham which would be a worry.
I'm putting SUPASUNDAE in a double with MIGHT BITE.
I seem to be picking lots of favourites which isn't like me but I really like the look of GRAND VISION in this. He did well enough at Cheltenham but this will trip suit him better and he has the main man Jamie Codd in the saddle this time which is interesting because he doesn't ride for Colin Gizzard too often. The horse is at least 8lb clear of every other horse on official ratings and at level weights that makes him a strong choice for me.
I like two for this and I've decided to back them both because they are both double figure prices. GINO TRAIL is probably the more obvious one having run well at Cheltenham finishing a good second in the Grand Annual. The other is BABY KING who won well over this course and distance in November and has only had 6 chase runs so still has plenty of potential for improvement. I thought his price was far too big for the only course and distance winner in the field. King Socks the favourite has an obvious chance but there isn't much juice in the price.
I wouldn't often look to get involved in a Mares Bumper but the favourite here GETAWAY KATIE MAI looks rock solid to me following the win from Regulate at Cheltenham. Getaway Katie Mai finished a close second to Regulate at Leopardstown in February and if that form is anywhere near accurate she should win this race. Also has the added benefit of Jamie Codd in the saddle.
- 1.45 – Cyrname – 3pt win at 9-4 with Bet365, Ladbrokes, Betfair
- 2.20 – Malaya – 1pt e/w at 7-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power
- 2.50 & 3.25 – Might Bite and Supasundae – 3pt double at 11-4 with Betfair
- 4.05 – Grand Vision – 3pt win at 4-1 with Hills, Paddy Power, Bet365
- 4.40 – Gino Trail – 1pt e/w at 10-1 with Betfair, Paddy Power, Bet365
- 4.40 – Baby King – 1pt e/w at 25-1 with Bet365 and BetVictor
- 5.15 – Getaway Katie Mai – 3pt win at 5-2 with Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betfred
12:00 Pontefract - Race: 1
12:10 Windsor - Race: 1
12:20 Hexham - Race: 1