Race 1: JLT Novices Chase – 13:30
The opening race is the JLT and the weather holds the key. I worry that the ground is going to change dramatically if the forecast is correct.
They are expecting lots of rain overnight which is a shame because the new course is in operation and it is drying beautifully today. It is almost good to soft with the odd soft patch.
But the ground is the same for them all, so I like Modus in here as he ran a cracker under top weight in the Coral Cup last year and I have been impressed with him over fences.
Race 2: Pertemps Final – 14:10
The Pertemps is a race where there is always a gamble and this year it looks like being Glenloe. This lad has been second quite a few times but I can’t help but think this has been his target. Delta Work is another to consider as an each-way.
Race 3: Ryanair Chase – 14:50
The Ryanair is all about Un De Sceaux.
The ground is perfect for him and the more it rains the bigger chance he has of winning. Cloudy Dream is the each-way pick, as he will travel strongly and be ridden to get home.
Race 4: Stayers Hurdle – 15:30
The Stayers is a really competitive race with lots of people rooting for Sam Spinner and Jedd O’Keeffe.
Lots of decent horses here and stamina will be at a premium.
I am going left field here with L’ami Serge as my selection – but I strongly recommend each-way. He is a French Champion Hurdle winner over three miles and will be ridden to finish well.
Race 5: Brown Advisory Plate – 16:10
Last year’s winner Tully East is ticking along nicely this season and I take him to repeat his win in this. Go Conquer is a really good each-way pick, being down in trip for this race.
Race 6: Mare’s Novice Hurdle – 16:50
The price is mean but Laurina should win. She has looked really good in her wins this year and lots of the Willie Mullins team feel she was the best chance of the week!
Dame De Compagnie is the each-way for Nicky Henderson.
Race 7: Kim Muir Handicap – 17:30
Patrick Mullins has already had a winner and confidence will be high so I am banking on that to flow into Mall Dini. This horse has run ok here and with headgear on will take a bit of pegging.
Pendra is the nearly horse and is a good each-way option, as he was chinned near the line last year.