1 30 – The Neptune
Neon Wolf 15/8 & Messire Des Obeaux 12/1
After Harry Fry’s upcoming star has diverted his target to the Neptune on the account of drying ground, you can’t look much further than him in this race. He has only impressed in his three runs; and Noel Fehily, Harry Fry and pundits across the board couldn’t be much sweeter on him. The price is short for a novice with as little as experience as Neon Wolf, but the potential speaks for itself. The race also lacks another real contender. However, Messire Des Obeaux screams value at us; a horse that has quietly gone about it’s business all season. His form works out well throughout, especially when beating
Ballyandy at Newbury. The Huntingdon defeat can’t be seen in a negative light and his battling qualities will be used to
full effect once again on conditions that have played to his advantage all year.
2 10 – The RSA
Acapella Bourgeios 7/1 & Whisper 9/1 EW
This race is very open; Might Bite could be very good but has a lot of convincing yet to do. Acapella Bourgeios has come on hugely in his last two runs and her trainer thinks that she has a huge chance; if he was trained by a certain Mullins, she thinks he’d be a huge favourite. The ground is a relative unknown, but his rangy galloping style could be suited by a better surface. The old favourite Whisper gets an EW nod; and I’m also not convinced by Might Bite due to Nicky Henderson keeping Whisper in the race rather than heading elsewhere. His form at the track is top notch and on his day he can mix it with the best. Nicky has got him back this season and his experience could just shine through against the newcomers.
2 50 – Coral Cup
River Frost 25/1 EW & Modus 12/1 EW
JP has clearly targeted this race and without thinking I’ve gone for a pair of his runners. The unexposed River Frost could be very well weighted, but the price reflects how the 5YO might handle the heat of such a competitive race. His form is solid enough though and at 25/1 is well worth a shot at upsetting the odds. Modus is an old favourite and I can’t desert him on the big occasion despite the hike after his Kempton win. He’ll come late and if on sync is likely to be a major player. We’ll know very early if Modus will be in with a shout, here’s hoping.
3 30 – Champion Chase
Douvan 2/7 (By as far as he wishes)
There’s not much to be said here and I’m not going to try and guess at who will come in behind Douvan. Anyone caught trying to race with Douvan will be punished and any leaving their run too late will also suffer. Throw a dart if you must…
4 10 – Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
Cause of Causes 4/1
Betting against Cantlow at Cheltenham might seem sacrilege to some, but Cause Of Causes with the current weather forecast has a huge chance to cause an upset. He also loves it at Cheltenham and is a classy animal on his day. Cantlow isn’t getting any younger and was turned over at a similar price last time out. Cause Of Causes will run through a wall for you and if in with a shout over the final hurdles will go mightily close. There’s some big unknowns further down the market, but in a race such as this that’s the risk you have to take.
4 50 – The Fred Winter
Percy Street 33/1 EW & Divin Bere 6/1
I don’t have a strong feeling towards this race and ultimately a good one will rise up from somewhere to claim the pot. There’s not a single bit of form that really strikes you from the field and a host of ‘could have beens’. Percy Street is well thought of and has snuck in at a wild price and worth a few pennies EW. Divin Bere beat the rapidly improving Master Blueyes last time out and at 6s still holds some values. Top weight is a concern, as is the ground – with no rain forecast I’d steer clear of this race in all honesty.
5 30 – Champion Bumper
West Coast Time 14/1 EW
Again, not the kindest race to the punter for obvious reasons. West Coast Time gets our nod for his run last time out. On the eye it was very promising and a change of ground may be the key to turning over the favourite and well fancied Carter McKay. There’s not much to go on and taking the word of a trainer also isn’t always the wisest. Throw your dart and pray. Good luck.