Barry Geraghty didn’t have the best of luck with Buveur D’air falling early in the Champion Hurdle so he will be hoping that Defi Du Seuil will get it done for him in the JLT Chase. I have been really impressed with him this season and his jumping has gotten better with every start. He looked very good on slow ground at Sandown against Lostintranslation, and I’ll take him to confirm that superiority.
This is a bit of a puzzle and I would be very keen on Jessica Harrington’s Walk to Freedom, but his UK rating is a lot higher than his Irish mark. Cuneo is probably not that well treated either, but is one that will go well.
Cuneo is not a straightforward ride, but at a double-digit price he’s worth an each-way play.
I really like two in this but worry that they may get in each other’s way! Frodon reminds me of Fondmort – a horse I won this race on before. He was a handicapper who loved it around Cheltenham and really came alive at the place. Frodon is very similar and I think if he gets it his own way up front he will them a merry dance from the front.
Monalee ran a cracker last year in the RSA Chase behind Presenting Percy and I really think he will serve it up to the field here. Rachael Blackmore did the business for us on Tuesday aboard A Plus Tard and I can’t split them.
I am scratching my head about this year’s Stayers’ Hurdle. Paisley Park has the best form in a division that lacks a real star and he should win on what we have seen this season. His win in the Cleeve Hurdle was really impresssive, but I just have a nagging doubt that it may not work out as smoothly for him on Thursday. I hope it does.
However, he’s a short enough price, so I am going to look elsewhere and advise backing Kilbricken Storm each-way instead. He was a very good winner of the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle last year at 33/1 after an aborted chasing career.
He may just pull off a shock here.
I really like Janika here. I love the way he goes through a race and they will go quick enough for him here too to get into a nice rhythm. I know he has top weight and has been beaten the last twice, but I’m sticking with him The other one I fancy is Spiritofthegames for the Skelton team. Both his trainer Dan and jockey Harry feel that this horse was well handicapped.
He ran a great race behind Kildisart on Trials day at Cheltenham and he’s strongly fancied for the JLT Chase earlier on the card. I get the impression the Skelton’s think he’s a very good horse.
I love Epatante in this for Nicky Henderson and JP McManus. This mare has won her first two starts in the UK very easily. The only slight concern is the fact she can pull a little hard. They have put a hood on her to try and settle her a little more. I think she will win but advise a little each-way on Queenofhearts for Stuart Edmunds. She will love the ground, is very tough and is a nice double-digit price.
Any Second Now has been backed for big races several times, but there is no getting away from the jockey booking in Derek O’Connor. He and Jamie Codd are much sought after in races like these. I’m happy Derek O’Connor is riding this for Ted Walsh and JP McManus.