We start off our tipping at Cheltenham with a cracking handicap chase. There are lots of familiar names here, and Coo Star Sivola is your favourite on the back of some decent displays in novice chases, including one at this track. The big plus for this horse is that he seems to be getting better with each run over fences, and the handicapper may not have his measure yet.
The one I really like here at an each-way price is a course and distance winner. Frodon is not much higher than he was when he won the Caspian Caviar on very soft ground here in December 2016, and if you take Bryony Frost’s claim into account he must be a player.
This is a race that Bristol De Mai is fully expected to win, as the conditions are optimum for him: soft ground and a 3m-plus trip. He was very disappointing in the King George and Tea For Two finished a long way in front of him. But Tea for Two has a very poor record at Cheltenham and does seem to be better on flat tracks like Kempton and Aintree. If he can overcome that he could well be overpriced.
When the ground has been soft or heavy in the last ten years in this race the favourite has been beaten every time. There is no doubt Bristol de Mai is a very good horse and looked brilliant at Haydock, but he has to bounce back – I am going to take a punt on Tea For Two each-way.
The Cleeve hurdle is wide open. Finians Oscar is wearing a tongue-tie for the first time on his return to the smaller obstacles, and he is your favourite. He lacked scope for fences but back over hurdles this is right up his street. He’s already a grade one winner over hurdles and looks like he could well be a player in the staying division.
But I fancy one of the outsiders to outrun their odds here for a trainer that is very often under estimated: Ex Patriot ran a blinder last time behind Killultagh Vic in Ireland and should not be the price it is. I think this horse can at least hit the frame on ground that he is proven on, he looks like he will enjoy the step up in trip too, he represents cracking each-way value.
We have a nice staying novices hurdle to kick off the ITV coverage at Doncaster. This race has been won in two of the last three years by Nicky Henderson, and he has the favourite again here.
Indian Hawk won nicely at Ludlow and looks like the further he goes the better he will be. The same owners have Calett Mad here and, on its first run since a wind op, could be the each-way value.
I have been really impressed with Marias Benefit. She gallops and jumps well, and looks really straightforward – she will take a lot of beating here.
I expect Dame Rose to run a lot better than she did last time, and can definitely hit the frame.
The Great Yorkshire chase is a race where Lami Serge is going back over fences having run some great races over hurdles. Some of his form over fences is not up to the level he has achieved over hurdles – however this is a really good opportunity for him.
He is quite short in the betting because of the jockey booking too. Warriors Tale loves a flat track and is excellent each-way value