The last time we saw Total Recall run over hurdles was in last year’s Pertemps Final at Cheltenham when a quietly fancied 25/1 shot.
Still in the mix coming down the hill, the Willie Mullins’ charge was then badly hampered in a mini-melee at the second last and thereafter was allowed to come home in his own time by Mark Enright.
Since last March he has run eight times over fences and the rest as they say is history with a novice chase success over two miles at Navan, followed by a seven length win the Munster National and culminating in that famous victory in the ‘Hennessy’ at Newbury.
That took his new chase mark to 156, but the nine-year-old is due to race off just 125 in the William Fry Handicap Hurdle on Sunday at 2.25pm.
Of course, a price just north of even-money in a 17-runner field hardly smacks of value, but he is the proverbial handicap good thing and although this 31lbs lower rating doesn’t guarantee victory, it does give him a bloody good chance of lifting this valuable prize before his next adventure in the world’s greatest race at Liverpool. A Great View was a desperately unlucky second over course and distance last time out looks the biggest danger.
This year’s highlight, the Irish Gold Cup at 3.35pm, looks desperately short of any depth hence Our Duke and Anibale Fly head the betting with Paddy Power.
Outlander has a cracking record over these fences (form figures of 113) and his recent third to Road to Respect is arguably the best form on show, Minella Rocco (4th), Valseur Lido (5th), Alpha Des Obeaux (6th) with both Djakadam and Edwulf both pulled up are all held on that line of form.
Djakadam was clearly showing the ill effects of his second to Sizing John in the John Durkan and has been freshened up by Willie Mullins for this and reportedly jumping out of his skin.
Apart from that pulled-up effort, his form figures here also read 113 and although he is clearly not as good as he used to be, he may not have to be to land a share of the prize money here in what looks a sub-standard renewal.
The bonus is the drying ground and at 7/1 he looks a very solid each-way play against rivals with huge question marks over them.
The Flogas Novice Chase at 3.00pm has plenty of strength in depth and the unexposed Sutton Place is probably the right favourite.
However, the 10-year-old Rathvinden is the forgotten horse in the contest. As short as 6/1 for the Grade One Neville Hotels Novice Chase here at Christmas, he was still very much in contention when brought down at the tenth fence and 16/1 looks at least four points over priced and an each-way investment is barking out loud at me.
She’s A Star had a lovely warm-up on the flat at Dundalk and is another each-way player in the opening mares handicap hurdle at 12.40pm, while it’s hard to get away from the classy Espoir D’Allen in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at 1.15pm.
However, if you are looking for a real long shot then have a closer look at the claims of Uncle Danny in the Chanelle Pharma Handicap Chase at 4.10pm.
The 33/1 shot will be suited to a fast run race over two miles and gets to race off his lowest mark to date in his chase career.
And finally I think I’ve left out one event, the 1.50pm. Oh yes……Samcro, enough said.
* All odds correct at time of posting.