The curtain comes down on Sunday of this great three-day bonanza and we begin with a conditional jockeys’ race at 13.15.
I am torn between Palmers Hill and Ballyhome but I am going to side with Palmers Hill. I bumped into the lads who trained him when he was a point to pointer at the Cheltenham sale and they were impressing on me what a nice horse he was. Young Jonjo O’Neill is a good young pilot so we’ve no worries there.
Claimantakinforgan was a ready winner at Uttoxeter and he jumped really well around there, his form when fifth in the Supreme Novice Hurdle is solid and he gets the nod. This this race will throw up some winners and Lalor is one to keep on side for future races especially in the spring.
We’ll all be wondering why? if Defi du Seuil wins at a price. An easy winner of the Triumph Hurdle in 2017, he got lost last year. If he finds his form again here – he will make us look silly for not siding with him.
Sceau Royal will take all the beating in the Shloer Chase with the drying ground in his favour. Le Prezien tuned up at Ffos Las with a really good run over hurdles and he could be the one for the forecast.
It’s a quick return to action for Verdana Blue after her run-away win at Wincanton last weekend. Everything is in her favour but it is a quick turnaround for a mare, and that casts a little doubt for me. I am going to go with Silver Streak each-way who was a ready winner at Ffos Las and the handicapper was kind to him by only bumping him up 6lb.
Midnight Shadow won the Scottish Champion Hurdle and he is another who represents value at a good each-way price.
Trainer Tom George thinks the world of Seddon and he can justify favouritism here. They thought enough of him to run in the Festival bumper – where he finished 12th – and they must be hoping he can take this en route to better things.
Paul Nicholls’ McFabulous will be popular in the last, but it’s interesting that Nicky Richards sends Ribble Valley down. He could be the each-way alternative to the likely favourite.
*Prices correct at time of publishing