IT has been a scintillating day of racing on Day One of the festival although not great for punters with so many favourites and fancied horses falling or not running their race.
The Champion Hurdle in particular must have had the bookies laughing all the way to the bank with all three fancied runners failing to get involved in the finish.
It's a marathon not a sprint though and we move on to day Day Two which I previewed in detail last week.
I now have some updated thoughts and additional bets so let's get cracking.
1.30pm Ballymore Novices Hurdle
I have already tipped CHAMP here who I think is a solid win prospect. He won't mind the soft ground and is the class act in the field.
A potential value bet as things stand is EASY GAME for Mullins and Walsh. There will surely be money for him before the off and if he handles the soft ground he could be a nice double figure price. Get on ASAP though because these prices might go.
2.10pm RSA Novices Chase
I'm happy with DELTA WORK here and don't have any further selections. His form is solid he is a festival winner and the ground won't be any problem.
2.50pm Coral Cup
Unfortunately my selection from last week Whiskey Sour hasn't been entered but you will get your money back on that one and we can go again.
My alternative selection is KILLULTAGH VIC who is an absolute class act and was quoted for the Gold Cup a couple of seasons ago. He has had injury issues but still showed he is in fine form with a close third place behind Presenting Percy last time out.
I actually thought they might give him a shot at the Gold Cup so interesting to see him here. He is a former festival winner and has no issue with the ground so 20/1 is too good to pass up, particularly with Mullins' string running so well on day 1.
3.30pm Champion Chase
ALTIOR should win this quite comfortably but I'm not recommending a bet at the current prices.
4.10pm Cross Country
This is all about TIGER ROLL who is an absolute class act, winning this last year on his way to Grand National glory. If he jumps round he should win this and I think he is now a fair price for the win .
4.50pm Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (aka Fred Winter)
Another tip here who is a non-runner: Friend or Foe was my fancy but hasn't been declared so we will get our money back. I think soft ground form could be useful here and BAND OF OUTLAWS has looked the part since switched to hurdles.
He's quick but also looks like he can stay judging by his last win and if it weren't for Sir Erec for the same yard running in the Triumph Hurdle he might well have gone for that. I can't see Band of Outlaws being outside the top three or four here.
5.30pm Champion Bumper
This is a really tough race on paper with so many unknown factors. My thinking is that staying power and soft ground form will be important so for that reason I am taking a punt on the Paul Nicholls trained ASK FOR GLORY.
He is an Irish point to point winner who won nicely in December at Chepstow in soft ground. That is the sort of form I am looking for and he is worth an each way punt here.
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