Down Royal has a cracking card on Saturday with seven races set to thrill the crowds in Lisburn. The feature is the first Grade 1 of the jumps season, and it has a top quality field to match its status.
The opener is for 3-year-olds and JP McManus looks to have another decent horse on his hands with Espoir D’allen.
This lad won nicely at Punchestown, but there is danger to be found in the JP O’Brien-trained Apparition.
13:20 Maiden Hurdle
Another maiden and another chance for JP McManus with Tower Bridge.
A decent bumper horse who will have been well-schooled. JP’s other horse Top Ten could well be the danger.
13:55 Handicap Hurdle
As you would expect, a competitive race for the money, and I am drawn to Golden Spear with Ruby Walsh booked.
Veinard is the smart each-way selection in the race.
14:30 Champion Chase
The feature JN Wines Champion Chase sees the return of Our Duke. This horse could well give Robbie Power the biggest headache of his career if he continues to improve. He and Sizing John could end up clashing in the 2018 gold cup and it could be a tough decision for him.
He won first time out last season, is a good jumper and deserves to be a short priced favourite.
Sub Lieutenant could be the each-way choice here as he loved it around Down Royal last year.
This Grade 2 has been won by Don Cossack in the past it could be a Gigginstown winner again – but which one?
Disko claimed the scalp of Our Duke last season and finished his season in style at Punchestown. But he did get beaten first time up last year by A Toi Phil, and I take him to be victorious again with Disko second.