It’s extremely difficult to see Sir Erec beaten here. He seems to have the Irish horses covered and when you see what Joseph’s Fakir D’Oudairies did to Adjali earlier in the season – then it is hard to see how any of the English horses could cause Sir Erec much trouble.
We’re paying 5 places in the County Hurdle. It’s very competitive but we like Countister for Nicky Henderson who could be on a very good mark. This is likely to have been the target for a while. Drying ground should suit her and she could go very close.
This is so wide open and not one to get heavily involved in. Dinons has loads of hurdles experience, which proves key in this race. Although he’s been off the track for Gordon Elliot and Davy Russell for a while, they pointed this race out as their target quite a while ago. He’s got good course form from earlier in the year and could be worth an each-way play and we’re paying 4 places.
One of the most open Gold Cups in recent memory, made even trickier with the unusual preparation that the favourite Presenting Percy has had. We still think he’s the most likely winner and with trip, track and ground all in his favour, he has less negatives than some of the opposition. Clan Des Obeaux, while clearly improving, may not be ideally suited by this test with small question marks about this being his best track, while last year’s hero Native River would have benefitted from the rain hanging about a bit longer.
At each-way prices, both Bellshill and Al Boum Photo look solid options, particularly with us paying 4 places.
We make it between Ucello Conti and Caid Du Berlais in the amateurs’ Gold Cup. Both bring solid hunter chase form to the table along with back class (Caid Du Berlais won a Paddypower Gold Cup) and should go well.
One of the weakest races of the week and Magic Saint stands out for Paul Nicholls. He’s open to significant improvement and could be the perennial graded horse in a handicap). At a much bigger price, with the 5 places on offer, we thought
Tree Of Liberty could sneak into a place at a big double-digit price. He should be suited by the way the race will set up and be staying on late in the day.
Gigginstown’s Dallas Des Pictons looks ahead of the handicapper on his form with Wednesday’s Ballymore winner City Island.
It’s hard to see him not going close. His stablemate and also Gigginstown-owned Defi Bleu holds definite each-way claims and we’re paying five places in the lucky last in the race that ends the Festival.