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I am torn between two as Mister Coffey will be much happier over this trip than he was in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham last month. However, Colin Tizzard’s AMARILLO SKY could be very well handicapped judging on his win at Exeter. He is 13lbs higher now, but can win this contest.
DUSART won at Newbury in November and the form of the race looks good now as the second, Soaring Glory, won the Betfair Hurdle. Nicky Henderson’s charge has only had one run and is not that experienced, but he is very good horse and I am hoping he can live up to expectations.
Chantry House won the March Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival when Envoi Allen fell. He has always looked like a stayer and this trip should be fine for him. I loved the way FIDDLERONTHEROOF went through Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham behind Monkfish. This track and trip will really suit and he is the one for me.
Fakir D’oudairies was a non-runner due to the fast ground at Fairyhouse last Monday but he will love the trip and has to be respected with some very good form to his name. I just wonder if the ground will be soft enough for him to be seen at his best.
For that reason, I am going for a proven horse in this race. POLITOLOGUE has won this contest and was second to Min in it two years ago. He missed Cheltenham due to a small blood vessel bursting in his nostril and should be raring to go.
Modus surprised me running over these fences last time and is a player now with that experience under his belt. Magic Saint is another I considered as he is a strong traveller and good jumper, but may not stay well enough for this test.
Lust For Glory has the assistance of the top rider over these Grand National fences, as Sam Waley-Cohen has such a good record around Aintree that plenty will back him on that alone. Livelovelaugh has been touted as the perfect type for this contest by Ruby Walsh and he knows what’s required.
However, PRECIOUS CARGO is a big horse with lots of scope and looks tailor-made for this test.
I have no doubt Bravemansgame is the best horse in this race. However, he looked tired at Cheltenham and I am going to go for one that really caught my eye at Chepstow this year.
OSCAR ELITE won easily that day, but was a little lost – Iike a lot of the Tizzard horses – during this season. If you take his runner-up berth at Cheltenham on face value though, he looks to have every chance now. Meanwhile, Cape Gentlemen has a tendency to go right-handed at his obstacles and that is a concern around this left-handed track.
This is a competitive little contest and this looks like a long-term plan for Tomorrow Mystery. However, I am going for what should be one at a bigger price. I watched FRANSHAM travel beautifully at Newcastle, only to pull himself up when hitting the front and getting chinned on the line.
This track will suit him and he is an each-way selection with Gina Andrews on board being a plus.
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