I was at Haydock Park when STAMP YOUR FEET (3.40pm) absolutely hosed up for Tom George and under a mere 4lb penalty, he has solid claims in this massive field as long as he gets a clear round through the race.
Buyer Beware had a nice pipe-opener on the Flat at Catterick and this former Gordon Elliot charge could possibly be a springer in the market.
I’m reluctant to pass over Colin Tizzard’s Sizing Platinum (4.15pm) even though he ran like a boat in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham, but it is worth remembering he has finished second in a Grade Three chase here before.
There are a couple of progressive runners in the field including Potters Point and the likely favourite Don’t Touch It.
I would be worried about the weather forecast for the evergreen Cantlow and he could be vulnerable to RUBBEN COTTER if he takes to this unique track.
The former Paul Nicholls’ runner was running in class two handicaps last year and less than a year ago won off a mark of 134.
He may not be the next Risk of Thunder, but he should be capable of seeing off veteran First Lieutenant, who was far from disgraced in the Irish National.
This looks a cracking renewal of the Stayers Hurdle with plenty of strength in depth.
Dual winner of the Morgiana Hurdle here over two miles, last month’s Stayers’ Hurdle winner at Cheltenham Nichols Canyon is thoroughly unexposed over this trip and could very well confirm that Festival form with Lil Rockerfeller, Unowhatimeanharry, Snow Falcon, Clondaw Warrior and Shaneshill.
However, he could prove vulnerable to the young buck that is SUTTON PLACE.
On my private ratings he has about 9lbs to find with the favourite on his Boyne Hurdle success, but he has been crying out for a step up to three miles and can overhaul the champ.
Of those in behind Nichols Canyon at Prestbury Park, I am sure Clondaw Warrior didn’t give his running after belting the sixth and seventh and he could run better than his double figure odds suggest.
A huge field for this three-mile handicap hurdle and if he has recovered from his Aintree exertions then the improving No Comment looks sure to go close.
The JP charge with Barry Geraghty on board fell foul to a brilliant front running ride from David Noonan at Liverpool.
Fellow British raider Abbreviate could go well at a huge price on this better ground along with stable mate and top weight Younevercall, but I have been waiting for OKOTOKS to run over three miles. Today, could be the day for the shrewder than Plato, Mr Tony Martin.
An easy winner of a Cork maiden, his mark has been preserved by two fourth place finishes over two miles and he could be a springer of the day.
Of the remainder, the lightweight Hunters Call and Bob Mahler (if he gets a run as first reserve) are also possible contenders.
Step forward the new Un De Sceaux. Rather like his front-running stable mate, Great Field is vulnerable at this stage of his career as he continues to take the odd liberty with his fences.
I can leave him alone at the top of the market, despite the distinct possibility that he could run this lot into the ground. I prefer an each-way play on ORDINARY WORLD.
Unlike many of his rivals, Henry De Bromhead’s charge is as sure-footed a novice as you will see and he should get a nice tow into the race not only from the favourite, but also from the free-running Powersbomb.
Ball D’Arc is the other major player, but there is an argument to be made that he will make his mark at this level at two and a half miles in time.
I will be very interested to see where Pravalaguna features in the betting because medium term she could emerge the best of these and any market support should be noted.
It may well be worth having a saver overnight on her behind GOOD THYNE TARA, taken to reverse Fairyhouse form with Barra.
The selection was a bit clumsy with her jumping in rear that day, but kept on strongly in the closing stages and it is worth remembering that was only her second start over timber. There should be bundles more to come.