Crossbar hit again on Wednesday with Topofthegame and Min. Couple of horse ran below true form which is disappointing but we were witness to two magnificent performances in Samcro and Altior. Both had questions to answer and in no uncertain terms showed why this game is great.
Onto Thursday and seven more races.
I have had Invitation Only earmarked for this race since early season and the odds available are very fair. The form of the Floglas has held up with Monalee finishing second in the RSA and Al Boum Photo running a fair race before falling. He right upsides at the line and should go well again over a trip that looks ideal. The ground been on the soft side shouldn’t cause any issue and this once smart bumper horse can fulfil his potential and give the trainer a fourth consecutive win in the race and the Owner a third in succession
Shattered Love is not to be underestimated. She just didn’t give her running last year and won over fences. This trip maybe just on the short side but Shattered Love should be bang there.
Finians Oscar is probably the most frustrating horse in training this year. But Colin Tizzard has thrown the kitchen sink at him with a wind op and every piece of headgear left in the yard. If he can find his hurdle form he has a right chance.
The rest of the English challenge doesn’t look up to much and Snow Falcon is well held on the Floglas run.
Invitation Only 1.5pt WIN 10/3
Finians Oscar .5pt WIN 15/2
Wide open renewal of one of the most competitive handicaps of the race.
A Great View is the one for me right down the bottom of the weights at a double figure price. He has been running well all year. Just failing in a Leopardstown qualifier before finishing a good fifth behind Total Recall over same course and distance. Ground to suit and the capable Jody McGarvey doing a very light weight he seems to have a lot in his favour. The owner, JP McManus, is mob handed with Glenloe who has had a considerate prep with this race in mind and Protek Des Flos who brings some good juvenile form here and Sort It Out who had been chasing this season before switching back for this race.
Conntenable ran too bad the last day but would be of interest based on previous runs and the same can be said of Thomas Campbell. While any money for Kansas City Chief has to be noted.
All that said I can’t get away from A Great View, his running style will also suit and has the right age profile for this test and stamina is undoubted.
A Great View 1pt E/W 12/1
Un De Sceaux is back to defend his crown twelve months ago and many are quick to doubt him. He won well last year despite doing plenty wrong and this year has seemed to me to settle a lot better. The field is a weak one.
Balko Des Flos would have been interesting but the ground has gone against him. Cloudy Dream is a horse I have backed numerous times but always finds a way to get beaten. Cue Card is twelve and while could have life left in him this course has not always been kind. Sub Lieutenant is well held based on last year’s running a Frodon has plenty to find but is the one with the scope to do so and should chase Un De Sceaux home.
Un De Sceaux might not be flashy but will win comfortably enough.
Un De Sceaux and Laurina 2pt Double 2/1 Coral
A mine field – doesn’t have the top top class horse that would previously have won this race but its wide open.
Anyone of eleven could win and I would have no issues. Wholestone could be the one for a small each way wager. He has excellent form figures around here and will adore conditions. He looks overpriced.
In opposition Penhill won at last year’s festival but hasn’t been seen since April last year. Hardly an ideal prep for this race and the trainer has said this is a run with Punchestown in mind.
Doubts have to be with Supasundae seeing out this trip on this ground.
L’Ami Serge is another who needs everything to fall right. Sam Spinner is the most likely winner but his running style will not be suited to this course.
The older battalion of the New One and Uknowhatimeanharry have plenty to prove while Yanworth has been running over fences this season but based on his Aintree run last year when beating Supasundae has every chance.
Wholestone .5pt E/W 22/1
16.10 Brown Advisory
Another tough race with plenty of “well handicapped” sorts. The Storyteller is a horse Gordon Elliot was mad on last year until he had a setback. He comes here with a very fair mark and if getting around unscathed will have to be involved but the one I like is Last Goodbye.
He finished fifth in the Day one novice handicap last year and has had just the three runs since winning super impressively the last day. Has taken a big hike in the ratings but could still be improving.
Plenty of dead wood in this race with the likes of Village Vic, Ultragold, Ballyalton, Shanahans Turn and Splash of Ginge all handicapped to the hilt.
Tully East won last year in same race as Last Goodbye and this season has been about getting him back here. Heavy ground however might just be against him. Romain De Senam is another who has previous festival form but would need the ground slightly better.
Kings Socks is a plunge Pipe horse and looks laid out but the price is in line with this suspicion.
Last Goodbye 1pt E/W 10/1
16:50 Mares Novice
Not much to be said here but Laurina is an absolute good thing. The way she won the last day was so impressive. Beating a decent field on the bridle. The second has won since and in no world can I see anything other than another Willie Mullins mare winning at the Cheltenham Festival.
Laurina and Un De Sceaux 2pt Double 2/1 Coral
17:30 Kim Muir
We finish with a handicap for amateur riders. One of the best bets of the meeting for me is Missed Approach. He finished second last year in the National Hunt Chase. Has the same jockey on board today and has been running well in defeat behind some well handicapped horses over marathon trips this winter. The soft ground and distance will be no issues and he runs here of a seven pound lower mark. He should be favourite in my opinion.
Final Nudge and Pendra represent good jockeys in this fear and the later ran well in this race last year. His main aim has to get back to this race.
Mall Dini and Squouateur have been the talking horses but the latter has had plenty of chances while the former does not want ground this bad.
Missed Approach 1.5pts E/W 10/1