What a day! No less than 18 featured races to savour this weekend including three Grade 1s, seven Grade 2s and three Grade 3s. So here goes!
12:00 JCB Triumph Trial 2m (Grade 2) (Chelt)
So Barry Geraghty has chosen Charlie Parcs. I’ve read on Twitter that perhaps both JP horses won’t run against each other. Defi du Seuil is a fine horse with better form but I think that Charli Parcs**** is the choice at 4/7. Notable that the favourites have flip flopped tonight. There is a suspicion that Defi du Seuil won’t run #justsaying. UPDATE: Well well, Charli Parcs announced a non-runner at 11:35. What a shame. Defi du Seuil now unopposable.
12:35 Novices’ Chase 2m 4f (Chelt)
Two choices: Singlefarmpayment** (at a best 11/2) is the deserving favourite, but I would definitely have an each way on Champers On Ice* at an appealing 9/1 e/w 1/4 odds (make sure that you get the latter – widely available). MARKET UPDATE: Champers On Ice now 13/2.
13:10 Handicap Chase 2m 4f (Grade 3) (Chelt)
Well, I could be a bit biased when Shantou Flyer is 6/1 and I understand that he has a Gold Cup entry. Anyhow, this is the day for Thomas Crapper* at an appealing 7/1.
13:30 Limestone Lad Hurdle 2m (Grade 3) (Naas)
8/11 Ivan Grozny**** is a given. The opposition is irrelevant.
13:45 Clarence House Chase 2m (Grade 1) (Chelt)
I think that Un De Sceaux*** is vulnerable. However I can’t find an opponent. This is all about whether Uxizandre is fit for 2m on his return. I doubt it.
13:55 Handicap Chase 2m (Don)
Cyrus Moriviere is the surprising 100/30 favourite. That requires a leap of faith. My preference is for progressive Romain de Senam*.
14:15 Cotswold Chase 3m 1f (Grade 2) (Chelt)
I’ve not selected Thistlecrack**** for the Gold Cup yet but, with a clear round, he’s too good for the opposition today,
14:30 Lightning Novices’ Chase 2m (Grade 2) (Don)
This is a realistic chance for Marracudja* (outsider at 6/1).
14:35 Woodlands Park Novice Chase 3m (Grade 3) (Naas)
Forgive Briar Hill** his last run and take the 5/1.
14:50 Glenfarclas Cross Country 3m 6f (Chelt)
I prefer Auvergnat** over Cantlow in this one. I’ll also have a bit of Cause of Causes* at 12/1.
15:05 Doncaster Mares’ Hurdle 2m 1/2f (Grade 2) (Don)
One to watch and enjoy. Has to be Vroum Vroum Mag***** at 1/3.
15:25 Neptune Novices’ Hurdle 2m 4f (Grade 2) (Chelt)
Another progressive Nicholls selection in the shape of Topofthegame* at an appealing 6/1.
15:40 Sky Bet Handicap Chase 3m (Listed) (Don)
I’m going to follow Caid du Berlais** into a hole at 14/1 (if I’ve not done so already).
16:00 Cleeve Hurdle 3m (Grade 2) (Chelt)
Unowhatimeanharry***** is excellent value at 10/11.
16:35 Steel Plate and Sections Hurdle 2m 1f (Chelt)
Drumcliff* was poised to take this one but is a non-runner so the tentative alternative is Max do Brazil* at 5/1.
14:00 Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Novice Hurdle 2m 4f (Grade 2) (Leop)
Let’s Dance*** deserves to be 15/8 favourite.
14:30 Frank Ward Irish Arkle 2m 1f (Grade 1) (Leop)
I prefer Royal Caviar** over the disappointing last time out Identity Thief.
15:30 Irish Champion Hurdle 2m (Grade 1) (Leop)
It’s all about Faugheen*****, already my selection for the Champion Hurdle