3:40 Hunters Chase
A poor hunters chase opens the card today.
Shin A Vee won this last year and finished 2nd the year before.
Enniskillen ran well over the banks course here on Tuesday and should be bang there again. There is one horse in here though that I think is miles better than all these and that horse is Grangeclare Rosa.
This horse has shown some decent form in bumpers, hurdles and chase races in the past. Her form is by far the best on show here. She gets a mares allowance and has the best jockey in the race on board.
Selection: Grangeclare Rosa 5/4
4:20 Novice Handicap Chase
This is a novices handicap chase and it looks wide open. Lord Scoundrel always runs a good race and should be bang there but he might be carrying too much weight.
The two I like in this are Full Shift and Phil’s Magic.
Full Shift who is trained by Nicky Henderson ran a nice race when 4th in a similar handicap at the Cheltenham Festival. He would need the ground to stay on the good side to been seen at his best.
Phil’s Magic was a top novice hurdler last season and took well to fences this season as a novice.
He’s run in some top class novice chases behind the likes of Shaneshill, Killultagh Vic and Outlander. This is its handicap debut and I have to say a mark of 129 is very appealing.
He’s been running on terrible ground all winter, this better ground will suit him too. I think he has a live chance of winning this at a big price.
Selection: Phil’s Magic 16/1
4:55 Mares Handicap Chase
This is a mares handicap chase and like most of the races on this card it looks wide open. It might prove profitable to follow the ones at the bottom of the weights.
Solita hacked up last time out and looks a mare going places.
She gets in off a nice racing weight and she is sure to take some beating yet again. There is one I do think has a better chance though and that is Dressedtothenines.
She was a talented novice hurdler before getting injured. Has been on the comeback trail this season and she race a really nice race last time out.
I think she will be the fittest she’s been all season and she has to carry only 10 stone 1lb on her back.
Given the shrewd connections I wouldn’t be surprised if this one was well backed.
Selection: Dressedtothenines 9/1
5:30 Punchestown Champion Hurdle
This is the big race of the day and possibly the biggest race of the week.
It is the Grade 1 Punchestown Champion Hurdle.
Vroom Vroom Mag runs in this as Annie Power is out of the race. She is an able replacement though. She is unbeaten in 9 starts for Willie Mullins.
Her latest win which was a career best came in the Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham over 2 mile 4f. She has yet to race against the boys and it is a slight doubt. She hasn’t beaten much in all of her races but they say you can only beat what’s in front of you.
This will be her toughest test yet though. She has to take on Identity Thief and My Tent Or Yours who are multiple grade 1 winners at this trip.
My Tent or Yours came back from a long layoff to run a fine race in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
He finished 2nd that day behind Annie Power. He had Identity Thief 15l behind him that day. He may of needed his next run which came at the Aintree festival when he was 2nd again to Annie Power.
Given that he’s only had 2 runs this season and there’s no Annie Power in here, he is sure to take all the beating.
I think he will confirm placings with Identity Thief and I think he can put it up to Vroom Vroom Mag. The mares allowance will help her but I still think My Tent or Yours is the one.
Selection: My Tent or Yours 15/8
6:05 Champion Novices Hurdle
O O Seven is the top rated horse in the race.
This English raider would have a good chance based on his 2nd to Yorkhill at Sandown but he was very disappointing on his latest run at the Cheltenham Festival.
He has it to prove again today. A Toi Phil wasn’t far in front of him that day too and I don’t think he should be as short as he is in the betting. Thomas Hobson pulled up in that race.
He has shown a really good level of form before that though including winning a graded race at Warwick. If he is none the worse after the last run he’d go close but I wouldn’t be backing him.
The one who I really like in this is Jers Girl. She’s been a model of consistency this season.
She was bought by J P McManus earlier in the season and that paid dividends on her recent run where she won a big pot at Fairyhouse.
She was impressive that day and I think she can follow up.
Champagne Harmony and Disko are the dangers.
Disko has yet to run this season but showed decent form last season in bumpers. Champagne Harmony clearly has an engine and takes the step up in class today after winning 3 out of its last 4.
Selection: Jers Girl 5/2
Outsider: Champagne Harmony 50/1
6:40 Novices Hurdle
Another novice hurdler here, only 9 runners go to post.
There are a lot of unknown horses in this race. Bello Conti on form should win this race.
He was 4th to Yorkhill at Cheltenham and Punchestown. He deserves to be the short price he is but I do think that his stablemate Koshari could be special.
They were really good vibes about this horse earlier in the season. Its run twice in France and it’s hard to weigh up that form but this one is in the silks for Rich Ricci.
He and Willie Mullins do really well with their recruits from France.
This one is 9/2 at the moment. It might be worth taking a chance on this one.
Selection: Koshari 9/2
7:10 Class Racing Flat Race
This race looks to be a very tricky bumper, any number of these could win this.
The one I like is the Jessica Harrington trained Bright Tomorrow.
He’s had 3 runs so far in bumpers and has run with a lot of credit behind some top horses. He was 5th in a bumper here last season and has been kept to bumpers again this season.
I’m guessing this race has been the aim all along. It’s 4th to Battlefront over this course and distance is the best form on show here.
That horse has since finished 2nd in the Cheltenham Bumper and 2nd in the Aintree Bumper. If it runs anything like it did that day It would go very close today.
No Comment, Red Giant and Some Neck are sure to have their chances here too.
Monbeg Notorious was 4th to Invitation Only on its previous run. That one ran here yesterday. On that form it would give him a chance.
Bright Tomorrow is the one for me though.
Selection: Bright Tomorrow 9/1
7:45 Champions Hunters Chase
We started the card with a hunter’s chase and we end it on a hunter’s chase.
This is the Champion Hunters Chase and there are some decent horses in it. Most a shadow of their former self but they can still perform at this level. This race will come down to a fight up the straight between On the Fringe, Marito and Paint the Clouds.
They finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Cheltenham equivalent of this race. The rain will not of helped Paint the clouds chances this time round. He wants good to firm ground.
On The Fringe did the Champion Hunters Chase triple last year and he’s going for it again this year after winning at Cheltenham and Aintree.
The recent rain will definitely help his chances. I think he’ll follow up here again and do the triple for 2 years running.
There’s nothing in here that he hasn’t beat before and I think he’s value at 1/1. I think he should be odds on.
Selection: On The Fringe 1/1 NAP
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