Paddy Power and Niall O’Reilly have cast their eyes over Saturday’s meeting at Down Royal, which will see a couple of familiar names crop up for the first time this Jumps season.
Speaking on the latest episode of our twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, the pair assessed the Ladbrokes Champion Chase – the first Irish Grade 1 of the campaign – before turning their attention to the Lough Construction Ltd. Chase and Samcro’s first run since victory at Cheltenham in March.
Some of the horses in this race will have longer-term targets so they will not be fully wound up, while some of the others are aimed at this race as this is their chance to pick up a good Grade 1. Chriss Dream is one of those, but THE STORYTELLER for Gordon Elliott is another.
He has turned into a really consistent horse and only been beaten once since the Galway Plate, when he made a really bad mistake that day. He’s double the price of Chriss Dream, so as much as I see the angle for him – and I’m a Henry de Bromhead fan – The Storyteller is a cracking bit of value.
I still think Samcro has to prove his consistency – he obviously had loads of talent early doors then came back after surgery and did it at Cheltenham in the Grade 1 Marsh Novices’ Chase, but EASY GAME has a run under his belt and beat The Storyteller the last day. If I’m fancying The Storyteller in the big race, then I’ve got to fancy Easy Game here.
I think CHRISS DREAM could win this. If you look at his form from the last two seasons, his best runs came on his reappearance – and they were very good runs as well. He’ll be ridden prominently, he’ll jump well and I just think he might be able to nick this. Delta Work and Presenting Percy potentially have longer-term targets than Chriss Dream, so he’s the one for me. He’s the type of early-season horse that could go well. Robbie Power on board is definitely a big positive for the horse, in terms of getting him jumping. He’s one of the best around.
The top three in this race are very interesting ahead of the rest of the season. SAMCRO is the one who will probably have a light enough campaign geared around the Ryanair, and I really think he should be favourite here. He goes well fresh and is just a much better horse than Easy Game so I’m all over him at his current price.
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