Pravalaguna looks better handicapped than Real Steel but he’s a very good jumper. It’s tricky to call as Real Steel has to carry top weight and that’s always tough. Pravalaguna could come on for her Fairyhouse run and might just be a shade of value at a double-digit price in a race where Paddy’s paying the first four home.
Paul Townend rides Ask Susan who should improve for her run at Fairyhouse last week on her first run for the Mullins’ yard in a hurdle race. She reverts to fences now and will appreciate the step up to 2m 4f from 2m as she stayed on well the last time
She could be hard to beat and looks to me like the Mullins’ runners best chance.
You can make a case for nearly these as to why to back them – but you could also make a case as to why you shouldn’t.
Melon was traveling well at Aintree last month when he fell at the third last and looked to have Buveur D’Air struggling in behind him. He’d appreciate a drop of rain and hopefully can go close with a clear round but did fall in this contest 12 months ago also. His best form is better on softer ground.
Gordon Elliott’s Apples Jade had a very hard race at Aintree as well and is better going right-handed, in my opinion. Supasundae won this race last year, but he’s workmanlike and if any of these spark, they could have too much speed for him.
Wicklow Brave put up a great run in the County Hurdle and has won this race in the past, but I’d be surprised if he won it again.
This is a very open race and a tough one to predict but I’d be hoping for the best with Melon.
Cheltenham winner City Island sets the standard and will be hard to beat.
We’ve seen that a few of ours that have come from a lay-off have needed the run. That would leave question marks over Come to Me, Tornado Flyer and Royal Rendezvous, so that’s leave Easy Game and Eglantine Du Seuil.
Easy Game was just behind Zero Ten (who won here on Wednesday) when third to Dommage Pour Toi at Fairyhouse three weeks ago, so that race could be working out well. I rode Eglantine Du Seuil at Fairyhouse who is appearing quick enough after the Easter Festival and that is a worry.
My knowledge of hunter chases is fairly average and it looks like a match to me between Ucello Conti and Stand Up and Fight.
I think Willie Mullins can win this race – I just don’t know with which one! There’s the obvious contest between Breaken and Cash Back but they are both two free-going horses and can be difficult rides. They could set it up for the closer in the field – and that might just be Annamix.
Monkfish is a fine, big, good-looking chestnut horse, who gallops and stays.
The 2m 2f trip will suit him and he’s got a great chance.
*Prices correct at time of publishing