Next Race Preview

April 28th

Punchestown (Going; Soft)

Annie Powers Mares Champion Hurdle (2m4f)
Willie Mullins saddles seven of the twelve runners here although given that declarations were made before racing on Thursday we might see a few non runners now that the Trainer's Championship is won and some of these have already run this week.One we should definitely see is Benie Des Dieux who won the Grade 1 Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham overturning the odds on favourite, Apple's Jade, who re-opposes here. Last year I heard Rich Ricci, when asked for a horse to follow, nominate Benie Des Dieux which I thought was significant at the time. She's been lightly raced this season and might have further improvement. Apple Jade was reportedly not herself after Cheltenham though the word is she's working a lot better now.. Her form is outstanding and if she is back to her best will be in the shake up. Midnight Tour split the above two in the Cheltenham race half a length behind the winner and at 8/1 looks a bit of each way value. Jer's Girl has been disappointing this season and was 11L behind the Cheltenham winner. Forge Meadow beat Identity Thief giving him 2LB at Gowran in February but pulled up last time. She was well beaten by Let's Dance at Leopardstown at Christmas. The latter has had a couple of disappointing runs in open company since although the handicapper seems to think that she's run to her mark. The drop back into Mares company might help.
Selection; Benie Des Dieux
Best Alternative; Midnight Tour

Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (2m)
Farclas and Mr Adjudicator renew rivalry after their 1-2 in the Triumph at Cheltenham. Stormy Ireland fell in that race having demolished the field by 58L on her Irish debut. She was disputing third at the time of her fall at the last and could improve. Sagalway swerved Cheltenham and won at Fairyhouse eleven days ago with Mitchouka 2l back in second and Saldier, who was 25L behind Farclas at Cheltenham, a further 1l back in third and Massa 9L behind the winner. Mitchouka had pulled up in Cheltenham behind Veneer Of Charm after hitting two out when weakening. This track might be more to Mr Adjudicator's liking.
Selection; Mr Adjudicator
Best Alternative; Stormy Ireland

Sandown (Going; Good)

The Oaksey Chase (2m6f164y)
Top Notch has his first start since February when he didn't run his race at ascot and finished down the field and wasn't right afterwards. He wasn't ready in time for Cheltenham and comes here a fresh horse. He beat Double Shuffle by 8L giving him3LB over 2m5f around here last November and the latter is now 3LB better off. Hoever the latter ran no sort of race behind Might Bite at Aintree beaten 40L having run the latter to 1L in the King George. Art Mauresque probably didn't stay the 3m at kempton last time having run a good race behind Waiting Patiently over 4f shorter the run before . His last win was when he beat Double Shuffle by a head at Chepstow in  October 2016 giving him 10LB.
Selection; Top Notch
Best Algternative; Art Mauresque

Celebration Chase (1m7f117y)
Altior faces just five rivals here but is almost unbackable to register his fourteenth consecutive win. Special Tiara was withdrawn at Punchestown during the week after the rain came and pitches up her for the beter ground. Howevr age might be catching up on him  although he was second to Altior here, beaten 8L last year. God's Own and Diego Du Charmil will be fighting over the minor placings.
Selection; Altior
Best Alternative; Special Tiara

Select Hurdle (2m5f110y)
Call Me Lord has his first run since going down by a neck in the Imperial Cup over 2m here back in early March. He has two wins over the course including the Juvenile Hurdle on this card last year although this is his first time over the trip. Wholestone won a Grade 2 at Cheltenham in January before a second at the same course later in the month , third behind Penhill in the stayers in March and runner up to Identity Thief at Aintree. Daryl Jacob rides him in preference to the same owners Call Me Lord. Old Guard will appreciate the better ground having disappointed in the soft at Aintree. Lil Rockerfeller is another who wil appreciate the better surface. His best form this season has come on Good to Soft at Ascot in Novemebr beaten 1L by L'Ami serge and Fontwell in February beaten less that 2L by Old Guard conceding him 2LB.
Selection; Lil Rockerfeller
Best Alternative; Old Guard

April 27th

Punchestown ( Going; Yielding to Soft*)
*Going may change by time of race
Punchestown Champion Hurdle (2m)
Samcro gets thrown in against the big boys here as Gordon Elliott attempts to claw back the Mullins advantage in the Trainer's Championship. He's seen off all comers in the Novice ranks culminating in the Ballymore (2m5f) where he had Black Op (won at Aintree next time) and Next Destination (winner on Tuesday) back in second and third respectively. The Handicapper has given Samcro a rating of 158 for that while Melon, beaten a neck by Buveur D'Air in the Champion Hurdle, is rated 165. That's a fair bit to find for Samcro at the end of the season and add in the fact that he's had just the four runs over Hurdles his price of 10/11 might not appeal. Melon started off the season with a win in the Grade 2 at Down royal before a good performance behind The New One at Cheltenham in December. He then had a poor run a Leopardstown at the Dublin Festival. If he runs to his performance in the Champion Hurdle he'll be thereabouts here. Supasundae runs here instead of the stayers. He was runner up in both long distance races at Cheltenham and Aintree and connections will be hoping for more rain I imagine to make it a test of stamina. Last years winner Wicklow Brave campaigned over the summer culminating in the Melbourne Cup where he ran very free early on to finish 10L off the winner. He reappeared in the Champion Hurdle finishing well down the field. This is a similar preparation to last year and he could be each way value. Min turns out quickly after Tuesday's effort although both his hurdle wins came here. Coquin Mans finished 2L behind Melon at Down Royal. He slipped up next time before doing us a favour when winning a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse over 2m4f. He  normally wears a hood but it's dispensed with here and dropping back to 2m might not be ideal. I've no firm position on who could win so I'm going the each way route in the hope that Wicklow Brave could spring a surprise or at least finish in the first three.
Selection; Wicklow Brave (Each Way 12/1 Paddy Power)
Best Alternative; Melon

Champion Novice Hurdle (2m4f)
The 9yo Pallasator had his first start over hurdles last November when he was 17L behind Next Destination over 2m3f. He dropped back to 2m for his next start but finished 7L behind the winner. He stepped back up to today's trip for his next two starts beating today's Bumper winner Dunvegan by 7L before seeing off Jetz by 2l in a Fairhouse Grade 2 with Scarpeta 10L behind the winner in third. The latter had beem 8L behind Samcro in the Ballymore before that with Duc Des Geneievres a further 1L behind.  The latter disappointed in the Fairyhouse Grade 2 finishing 23L behind Pallasator while his two runs before Cheltenham had seen him finish 5L runner up behind Samcro at Leopardstown while his seasonal debut in January had seen him finish a 4L third behind Next Destination. Getabird reappears here, one of five of the twelve runners reappearing for a second time this week, with his trainer feeling the step up in trip will help. The Heavy ground at Cheltenham was against Debuchet who finished 12L behind the winner in the Supreme. As a Bumper winner over 2m the step up in trip should suit but whether he gets his ground remains to be seen. Dortmund Park has disappointed in his last two starts and had a wind op before the last run. It's hard to see any of the others involved but again it's the end of a long season on testing ground.
Selection; Scarpeta (Each Way 6/1 Ladbrokes)
Best Alternative; Pallasator

April 26th

Punchestown (Going; Yielding*)
*Going may change by race time

Champion Stayers Hurdle (3m Inner Track)
Penhill surprised a few with his win in the Stayers at Cheltenham where he won going away from Supasundae by 2L. The latter has been declared for the 2m Champion Hurdle on Friday which suggests his trainer feels he didn't stay although it has to be said they didn't go a particularly quick pace. The third horse Wholestone was beaten 5L and next time up at Aintree was beaten 5L by Identity Thief who showed a return to form for the step up in trip. Faugheen steps up to this trip for the first time since winning a Grade 3 in Limerick in 2013 as they try to rekindle the magic of old. It's sad to see Jezki, Shaneshill and Yorkhill priced up in the 20's but it represents their recent form. Bapaume has never really delivered on his Juvenile Hurdle Form. His successes in that sphere came on better ground than he's been racing on this winter. Significantly his best form this season came over 3m when he finished 5L behind Apple's Jade at Leopardstown. He's been dropped back in trip for his subsequent three starts and now back up to 3m could be a dark horse with Noel Fehily a significant booking. La Bague Au Roi gets a valuable 7LB mares allowance. While she did flounder a bit on the Heavy surface at Cheltenhamthat was over 2m4f. She has had a wind op since while the step up in trip and better ground here will definitely help her and she has each way prospects. Bacardys was staying on when falling at the last in the stayers hurdle and Patrick Mullins feels that the slow pace of the race didn't suit him and expects to be closer this time. However that was his second fall in a row. Given the run the Mullins Team are having at the moment they could easily dominate this race,
Selection; Bacardys
Best Alternative; Bapaume (Each Way)

Ryanair Novice Chase
Footpad is virtually unbackable for the average punter at 2/5 and understandably so given his performance at Cheltenahm. Petite Mouchoir takes him on again but barring a disaster befalling the favourite I can't see anything beating him.
Selection; Footpad
Best Alternative; Petite Mouchoir

April 25th

Punchestown (Going;Yielding to Soft*)
*Going may change by race time

Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle (3m)
Next Destination had looked a smart sort on his three starts over hurdles prior to going to Cheltenahm where he was running on at the finish of the Ballymore Hurdle over 2m5f suggesting the step up in trip here will suit him. Kilbricken Storm ran out a convincing winner of the Albert Bartlett hurdle which was his third win out of his last four starts over hurdles. Ballyward was fourth in the Albert Bartlett 6L behind the winner and might have a better advantage around here. Delta Work won the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham off 10st-10lb but this is a step up in class, although it might have been a well worked plan and he can find the improvement necessary to be involved. Blow By Blow disappointed at Fairyhouse after winning the Martin Pipe over 2m4f at Cheltenham. He has a fair bit to find with Next Destination on their last run. Jetz has been pretty consistent without winning since successful on his seasonal debut last November. He has about 8L to find with Next Destination on their two meetings this season. Brahma Bull was very disappointing in the Ballymore having won his four previous starts. However that was only his second start over hurdles and his Trainer Willie Mullins felt he should have ran him in the longer Albert Bartlett. That was his first run since November and he comes here a fresh horse. Lackaneen Leader gets the Mares allowance but needs to find a fair bit more. 
Selection; Brahma Bull (Each Way 25/1 Boyle Sports)
Best Alternative; Ballyward

Punchestown Gold Cup (3m120y)
Road To Respect looks like going off favourite and his 12L fourth to Native River in the Gold Cup as I suspect those extra two furlongs caught his stamina out. He's had just he four starts this season starting off with a win around here over 3m1f , was a shade unlucky in the JNWine and then won the Grade 1 at Leopardstown at Christmas. Bellshill won the Bobbyjo at Fairyhouse before running a huge race in The Fairyhouse Grand National where he was 1L back in fifth. That may have taken the edge off him but if not he should be in the mix. Killultagh Vic was disappointing at Cheltenham where he pulled up and had fallen at the last the time before at Leopardstown . He is a horse of undoubted talent who beat Thistlecrack in a Grade 1 Hurdle around here three years ago. Djakadam was a shade unlucky in this last year but has disappointed a bit in his last three runs. He's been runner up in the last three runnings and connections will be hoping the surroundings can light him up again. Having run up a hat trick early season Total Recall fell at Cheltenham and then Pulled Up at Aintree having not taken to the fences. He might appreciate a drop more rain though. Edwulf disappointed at Cheltenham and is another who would appreciate more rain. Outlander looks to reserve his best for Leoprdstown.
Selectiuon; Road To Respect
Best Alternative; Killultagh Vic

Champion I.N.H. Race For The Conyngham Cup (2m70y)
Champion Bumper winner at Cheltenham, Relegate, is three from three including a course and distanc ewinner here. She had her stablemate, Blackbow, almost 6L behind at Cheltenham athough Patrick Mullins believes the latter didn't show his true form there and sticks with him here. Blackbow had previously caught the eye at Leopardstown in a Grade 2 at the Dublin Festival. Other Mullins runners Carefully Selected and Tornado Flyer were second and third at Cheltenham and it really depends how they have all come out of the race. Felix Desjy had won his two Bumpers before going to Cheltenham but with a first time hood fitted there he disappointed having run a bit free early on. Nonetheless he was just over 7L behind the winner. Getaway John was beaten a head by Tornado Flyer at Fairyhouse in January on his first start since February 2017 and won his next two the penultimate one over course and distance. If we take it that he improved from that first run his current price of 10/1 looks generous. Having had just the two runs, placed second on debut and winning the second, it's hard to know how good Young Ted is. However coming from the Noel Meade yard he has to be respected and any market moves should be noted. Dorking Boy won his only start comfortably  and Tom Lacey would hardly travel him from England if he thought he couldn't be competitive.
Selection; Blackbow
Best Alternative; Getaway John

April 24th

Punchestown (Going; Yielding)

Tuesday sees the start of five days terrific racing to bring down the curtain on the current National Hunt Season. The hype however has been all about the trainers Championship with Gordon Elliott  leading Willie Mullins at the moment and judging by the amount of horses both have entered it looks like it has become an obsession. However it is the end of a long season where for the most part horses have been running on testing ground so there may well be a few surprises over the week.

Herald Champion Novice Hurdle (2m100y)
Ten runners have been declared for this with four from Mullins and three from Elliott signalling their intent. Getabird (10/11) heads the market with Mengli Khan next best at 4/1. After his disappointment at Cheltenhm Getabird returned to form at Fairyhouse with an impressive win. If you take out the Cheltenham run, where he clearly didn't run his race, he has the measure of Mengli Khan on their run over course and distance last January, although Gordon Elliott thinks his horse wasn't himself that day. Paloma Blue finished 1L behind Mengli Khan at Cheltenham and the latter was just 2L behind the winner Summerville Boy. But as I said above, Getabird clearly didn't run his race being quite keen early on in the race. Sharjah wears a tongue tie for the first time but on form with the above three looks out of it. However both the leading trainers are obviously targeting as much prize money as possible with €1,000 for sixth spot. Vision Des Flos won the Land Rover Bumper here last year but subsequently disappointed over hurdles and after been a beaten favourite (1/4) in December, he had a wind op. He was an impressive winner next time and ran respectably at Cheltenham over 2m5f. He dropped back to this trip at Aintree but got run out of it by Lalor. He's backing up quickly here which concerns me but 16/1 looks each way value. Mouse Morris drops Beyond The Law back to the minimum trip. Two runs back he beat Draconien over 2m3f by 22L at Clonmel. He was 11L behind Getabird here in December while Draconien was 12L behind Getabird at Fairyhouse. The tissue price for Beyond The Law is 100/1. Draconien's is 25/1. It's a funny old world.
Selection; Getabird
Best Alternative; Mengli Khan

Boyle Sports Champion Chase (2m)
Another ten runner field and four runners each for Mullins and Elliott but Mullins looks to have the stronger hand with Douvan, Min and Un De Sceaux. On ratings alone these three are head and shoulders above the rest. Douvan looked to be travelling well when falling at Cheltenham on his first run back after a year long lay off and Patrick Mulins, who rode him that day, was obviously disgusted at the fall. If back to anything near his beat he should be good enough. Min backs up quickly after two hard races at Cheltenham and Aintree while Un De Scaux is a course and distance winner and might be better suited to this trip. Doctor Phoenix looks the best of Elliotts. He fell when challenging Un De Sceaux at the last at Fairyhouse although it's debatable if he would have won. He's had a busy season and although he has improved by 19LB according to the handicapper he will need to find more if the Mullins Horses turn up with their "A"Game. Special Tiara will appreciate the better ground but has never run well around here.
Selection; Douvan
Best Alternative; Un De Sceaux

Growise Champion Novice Chase (3m120y)
Eleven runners and again the top two trainers are mob handed with Gordon Elliott saddling five to three of Willie Mullins. However they might have to play second fiddle to Henry De Bromhead who has the favourite Monalee. This lad looked the real deal on his chasing debut around here last November with an exhibition of jumping but took a crashing fall next time at Leopardstown. However that failed to shake his confidence and he won a Grade 1 at The Dublin Festival in February before finding Presenting Percy to good at Cheltenham. Al Boum Photo looked held in third in the above Cheltenham race when falling at the second last. He gained compensation in the Ryanair Gold Cup next time beating Shattered Love by 1L. That was over 2m4f and Al Boum Photo looked like he'd enjoy the stepup in trip. Shattered Love has had a busy but productive season winning five of her seven starts, including an emphatic win in the JLT at Cheltenham and finishing second in the other two. However it's worth noting that her form tailed off in March and April last year after a similarly busy season. Finian's Oscar finished a long way behind Shattered Love at Cheltenham on what was his first start after having a wind op following a poor show in a hurdle race in December. However he seemed to bounce back when winning at Aintree although it wasn't the strongest field ever in a Grade 1. His jumping can be indifferent at times and this is his first time at the distance over Fences but it's worth remembering that his trainer, Colin Tizzard, hit a rich vein of form this time last year. Invitation Only has his first start over 3m under rules although he did win over the distance in a point. He finished 1L behind Monalee in that Dublin Festival race over 2m5f but looks held by Al Boum Photo on the Fairyhouse run last time. Jury Duty is another consistent sort but will have to find a bit on the favourites to win. It would be a major surprise if anything else was to win.
Selection; Monalee
Best Alternative; Al Boum Photo

April 21st

Ayr (Going; Good)

Scottish Champion Hurdle (2m)
This sixteen runner limited Handicap is about as tricky as it gets and with the ground drying out all the time it is ripe for a shock. Nicky Henderson saddles three and they all have chances. Verdana Blue is a Mare who has won on Good ground and has the assistance James Bowen's valuable 3LB claim. Claimantakinforgan ran a big race at Cheltenham finishing 5L behind Summerville Boy while Charli Parcs will relish the fast track and quick ground. He looked the real deal at Kempton in December 2016 but fell next time and had a bit of indifferent form since. However I think connections have finally decided that he doesn't go on soft ground. Chesterfield won this last year and runs off a mark 2LB lower here. It looks like this was the plan since last year. Beyond The Clouds has won five of his six starts, three of them at Musselburgh, but this is a big step up. He could be anything. The stable of Philip Hobbs has been out of form this year. However I'm A Game Changer was a welcome winner at Ludlow just twelve days ago where he won a shade cosily. This is a step up but the trainer is confident of a good run. Flying Tiger was a major disappointment at Cheltenham in the County Hurdle for which he went off Favourite. He had some decent form in Graded Company earlier in the year but whether he can handle quick ground is open to question Gordon Elliott sends over Brelade who comes here on the back of two quick runs at Cheltenham and Cork, the latter on desperate ground. He will appreciate the better ground and if Cork hasn't left a mark could give Davy Russell a good spin. The Unit reverts to Hurdles to protect his Novice Chase status and has some decent form over the smaller obstacles. However his recent form suggests he might find the trip a bit sharp. Old favourite Ch'Tibello has to carry top weight and some tough races this year may have left their mark. However he will appreciate the ground.
Selection; Charli Parcs EW (16/1 Boyle Sports)
Best Alternative; Chesterfield

Future Champions Novices' Chase (2m4f110y)
Just five go to post here and it looks a nice chance for the Mare Mia's Storm who fell at Ascot on her last appearance back in December where she clearly didn't handle the ground. Prior to that she had run up a four timer on Good ground (three times) and Good to Soft the other. With the Mares allowance the ratings give her a chance. Peregrine Run got his chasing career off to a great start last year winning three of his five starts. However he hasn't been seen since last August and this could be run at a fast pace with Bigmarte who likes to make the running. His best form was when beating Cyrname, who was giving him 2LB over 2m at Ascot in December. There could be a slight concern over the trip.  Adrien Du Pont can take a bit of a hold and wears a tongue tie for the first time here. However the Ground and trip are in his favour however at the ratings he has a bit to find with Mia'sStorm.
Selection; Mia's Storm
Best Alternative; Adrien Du Pont

April 18th

Cheltenham (Going; Good To Soft)

Silver Trophy Chase (2m4f166y)
A sixteen runner Grade 2 Handicap at the end of a long season with the going changing possibly Good by the time racing starts is a recipe for a shock. Frodon heads the weights but disappointed last time in Grade 1 company and around this track where he is two from two in course and distance handicaps. He appears to go on most ground. Having won his first two starts this season Go Conquer has gone up a fair bit in the weights and drops back in trip here. He's likely to make the running. Shantou Village has his first start since October and the ground is coming right for him. However his trainer thinks others might be sharper at this stage and stable jockey Noel Fehily has opted for stablemate Kalondra. The latter, who runs here off a mark of 145, is a course and distance winner of 147 back in December. He's won on Good and Good to Soft. Cepage went up 7LB for winning at Kempton last month. He's won on Good to Soft. Days Of Heaven ran up a hat trick on Good ground last Spring but hasn't been seen since pulling up on soft ground here in November. Any market move should be noted. Rases De Teillee was disappointing at the Cheltenham festival. That was his eight start this season and he may have been feeling it. Art Of Payroll has his first start since having a wind op following his last start in September. Voix D'Eau won this two years ago but his form has been patchy since. Traffic Fluide lost his way a bit over fences this season but got a confidence booster when wining over hurdles on Heavy ground last time. He's got a very attractive handicap mark here, will appreciate the better ground and has often shown his best form in the spring. Knockgraffon and Jameson are others who might be each way value but this is a wide open race.
Selection; Traffic Fluide
Best Alternative; Kalondra 

April 14th

Aintree (Going; Soft)

Mersey Novices Hurdle (2m4f)
The Going at Aintree was pretty testing on Friday and a lot of horse struggled to get home. The weather is mainly dry between now and Saturday's card but that will make the ground pretty sticky. The bookies have this as basically a two horse race. On The Blind Side hasn't run since completing a four timer (all his runs) in a Grade 2 at Sandown in early December. The form of his second last win, also a Grade 2, reads pretty well. He's had a couple of issues since then but that could be a bonus and the trainer, Nicky Henderson has his string in cracking form although he does say that the ground is a concern for him. Black Op put it up to Samcro at Cheltenham eventually going down by just under 3L. Prior to that he was just touched off by Santini (a winner today) on Heavy ground at Cheltenham. Western Ryder beat Lalor (winner Friday) at Cheltenham in December. He was stayed on well behind the winner in the Supreme Novice at Cheltenham where he was hampered two out when making a move. He has plenty of experience and was a 2L third to Lalor in the Grade 2 Bumper here last year. He looks good each way value at 9/1 with Betway. Momella gets a valuable mares allowance of 7LB and has to find just over 2L with On The Blind Side from their last meeting. She has been off since mid December. Colin Tizzard is quoted as saying he thought Lostintranslation was his best chance of the week and the horses are running well. He'll appeal to each way backers.  
Selection; Western Ryder (EW) 
Best Alternative; Momella

Maghull Novices Chase (1m7f176y)
Petite Mouchoir is by far the best horse in the field on ratings and if he hasn't paid a price for that mad gallop at Cheltenham should win as his neares rival on ratings Shantou Rock is 9LB behind him and would prefer better ground. Diego Du Charmil is another who would prefer better ground while Lady Buttons who gets the Mares allowance and will go on the ground.
Selection; Petite Mouchoir
Best Alternative; Lady Buttons

The Liverpool Hurdle
Sam Spinner was a bit of a disappointment at Cheltenham but connections felt they didn't get a fast enough pace. Prior to that he had beaten L'Ami Serge in a Grade 1 at Ascot which impressed the handicapper enough to raise him 9LBS. Wholestone was just over a length ahead of Sam Spinner. Twiston-Davies his trainer thinks Aintree wil suit him. The World's End was 1L behind Sam Spinner at Cheltenham but would prefer better ground. Lil Rockerfeller has been very disappointing in his three runs since beating L'Ami Serge at Ascot in November. They're still trying with Identity Thief and step him up to 3m after the Champion Hurdle. He has won over 2m4f. Given how many of these ran at Cheltenham the race is open to a shock but I'll stick with Wholestone.
Selection; Wholestone
Best Alternative: Sam Spinner

April 13th

Aintree (Going; Soft, Good to Soft in places)

Betway Top Novices Hurdle (2m103y)
Fifteen runners are declared for this but on ratings quite a few of them will have to show substantial improvement to figure. Global Citizen has created a good impression so far winning a point and a Bumper and then showing promise in two maiden hurdles before scoring twice over the smaller obstacles, the latter a Grade 2 at Kempton in February. He was eased in the final 75 yards and had another of today's runners Scarlet Dragon, who pulled very hard, 9L back in second. He's won on Good and Soft over Hurdles so conditions wil not be a problem. After winning the Land rover Bumper at Punchestown last year the future looked bright for Vision Des Flos.  However he failed to get his head in fron in three starts before having a wind op after which he demolished a field in a listed hurdle by 31L over 2m1f. He didn't run a bad race at Cheltenham behind Samcro leading to two out before fading to 10L behind the winner. Dropping back in trip here is interesting and he could be an EW bet to nothing at 5/1. Style De Garde was second in the Fred Winter but the third and fourth in it were beaten a long way today. Impact Factor has some good placed form behind Paloma Blue, Hardline and Getabird but has only one win to his name. He could be good ew value at his current price of 11/1. Slate House has been disappointing in his last few starts and took a heavy fall at Cheltenham. 
Selection; Vision Des Flos
Best Alternative; Global Citizen

Mildmay Novices' Chase (3m210y)
Terrefort steps up to this trip for the first time having run a respectable race behind Shattered Love at Cheltenham having won his previous two starts. Nicky Henderson his trainer believes the step up will suit him. Elegant Escape was third, beaten 14L, in the RSA. He's a consistent sort, wears cheek pieces for the first time and at 11/2 could be EW value. The ground looks to be gone for Mia's Storm as her trainer says she doesn't act on soft while Ms Parfois hard a hard race over 4M at Cheltenham when going down by half a length to Rathvinden. Coo Star Sivola is another who had a hard race at Cheltenham but if recovered could be EW value while Black Corton has been on the go now for a long time. Snow Falcon fell in the Irish National but ran a great race behind Yanworth over Hurdles here last year.
Selection; Terrefort
Best Alternative; Elegant Escape (EW)

Melling Chase 2m3f200y)
Min steps up in trip after his second place behind Altior at Cheltenham. He's won over it before in lesser company and should get it here as well. Balko Des Flos caused a bit of a shock at Cheltenham seeing of the great Un De Sceaux by over 4L and defying the theory that he couldn't go on soft. Politilogue wears a tongue tie for the first time and will be suited by this flat track better than he was at Cheltenham as he tends not to finish his race off at times according to his trainer. The remainder need to find plenty of improvement on their ratings.
Selection; Min
Best Alternative; Balko Des Flos

Sefton Novices Hurdle (3m149y)
Nicky Henderson has the first three in the betting here and they all ran in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham with OK Corral second, 3L behind the winner and Santini just over 1l back in third while Chef Des Obeaux never ran his race and was pulled up. Tower Bridge , fifth in that Cheltenham race, could be each way value also. Roksana gets a valuable mare's allowance and is on a four timer. Poetic Rhythm was well beaten in the Albert Bartlett but had won a Grade 1  on heavy ground prior to that. Chef Des Obeaux gets another chance at 10/1 (Coral and William Hil) Each Way
Selection; Chef Des Obeaux (EW)
Best Algternative; Ok Corral

Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (2m209y)
This has been the plan for Danny Kirwan for a while. He was very impressive winning his only Point at Lisronagh in October and was equally impressive when winning his only other start, a Bumper, in February around Kempton where he travelled beautifully and quickened away under hands and heels giving the impression that there was loads more to come. Mister Fisher is only a 4yo and won his only start in  a Kempton Bumper in March. He only gets 6LB age allowance here compared to the 12LB he got at Kempton. Sevarano was impressive when winning his only start at Kempton winning by 7L although the runner up, a stablemate of Danny Kirwan, was well beaten by Mister Fisher next time.There are plenty of others with winning form in the race but Danny Kirwan gave the impression of more to come and his trainer was very complimentary after his last run. 
Selection; Danny Kirwan
Best Alternative; Mister Fisher

April 12th

Aintree (Going; Good to Soft, Soft in places)

Just four weeks on from Cheltenham and it will be interesting to see how those horses involved at the business end of races there perform here.

Manifesto Chase (2m4f)
At Cheltenham Brain Power was having his first run back since Ascot in January and having a wind operation. The Arkle was run at a hectic pace and he couldn't go the pace and in the end passed the two exhausted front runners to finish a 14L second to Footpad. He steps up to 2m4f here and has a tongue tie fitted. The trainer has expressed concerns about the going for him believeing that it will be too soft. Cyrname swerved Cheltenham and there is no doubt this track is better suited to him judging by his results. He's improved no end on his hurdling form and has more room for improvement. Having had s good start to the season winning his first two Finian's Oscar's jumping went to pieces and he subsequently had a wind op before he was well beaten at Cheltenham. The tongue tie he wore for his last two starts is left off but the cheek pieces remain. Needs to find his best form to figure but wouldn't rule him out. Rene's Girl gets a valuable  7LB Mare's allowance which leaves her with a great chance on ratings. However she wouldn't want any more rain. Modus disappointed on the ground at Cheltenham so connections will be praying for drier conditions and if they get them he could be a surprise. Henry De Bromhead doesn't tilt at windmills generally so it's interesting to see Calino D'Airy (33/1) here. Any market moves should be noted
Selection; Cyrname
Best Alternative; Modus

Doom Bar Anniversary Juvenile Hurdle (2m1f)
Apple's Shakira ran very freely in the Triumph and she's fitted with a hood here to help settle her. However she is drifting in the betting with stablemate We Have A Dream coming in for support. The latter put up an eye catching performance at Musselburgh in February posting a pretty quick time despite taking a blow and leaving Daryl Jacob to sit still while he filled his lungs up again. He missed Cheltenham with  a small problem which might be an advantage here. Malaya was well beaten here in December but had apparently gone over the top. She was given a break until the end of February when she ran a fine race behind Redicean at Kempton before winning a big handicap off top weight at Ascot eighteen days ago. Nube Negra wasn't disgraced at Cheltenham just getting run out of it by 4L while conceding weight. Again connections will be hoping for no more rain. Beau Gosse is in the same ownership of We Have A Dream but will wear the owners French colours. The quick ground caught him out at Kempton in February but he could be EW value here. It's hard to see anything else being involved but it's the end of a long season and these 4yo races can throw up surprises.
Selection; We Have A Dream
Best Alternative;Apple's Shakira

Betway Bowl Chase (3m210y)
Might Bite doesn't appeal at 8/11 having had a tough race at Cheltenham. He won the novice chase here last year so acts on the course but I'm looking for value elsewhere. Bristol De Mai had a wind op after his run at Cheltenham in January and this is his first run back. If it were to chuck rain down it would enhance his chances and if the operation has worked it could give him further improvement. According to his trainer Definitely Red was beaten after two fences at Cheltehman in the Gold Cup with the ground too deep for him. He's won around here on Heavy ground which was a lot looser than the mud at Cheltenham. Clan Des Obeaux ran a decent race under top weight on his last start in december finishing second to Guitar Pete who was getting 22LB. He missed Cheltenham with a little setback. He runs well when fresh and is another who could benefit from missing Cheltenham. Tea For Two won this race last year on Good ground but has disappointed a couple of times since although finished just 3L behind Might Bite in the King George. This track will suit.
Selection; Clan Des Obeaux (EW)
Best Alternative; Bristol De Mai

Aintree Hurdle (2m4f)
Supasundae is clear favourite here at 1/1 with the tissue going 6/1 or better the remainder. He's reported to be in great form after Cheltenham and the forecast ground perfect. Stablemates L'Ami Serge and My Tent Or Yours are next in the betting along with The New One at 6/1. The first two are frustrating to follow although My Tent Or Yours finally got his head in front when in receipt of 6LB from The New One back in December. The New One looked as if the season had taken it's toll at Cheltenham in the Stayers when he backed out pretty quickly between the last two. His trainer however is very bullish. The rest look out of it.
Selection; Supasundae
Best Alternative; L'Ami Serge

Mares National Hunt Flat Race (2m209y)
Probably a race to be avoided given the paucity of form with some of the runners. However John Queally brings over Getaway Kate Mai from Ireland and I think she'll run a big race. Having her first run since August when contesting a Grade 2 Bumper at Leopardstown in February she ran subsequent Cheltenham Bumper winner Relegate to under 2L. That form looks solid and you would expect a lot of improvement from her. However going back to March 2017 she was beaten 14L by Posh Trish in a Point at Lemonfield and the latter went on to win two Bumpers and on her last start finished third in a Sandown Listed race the form of which reads well with some here. It's 10/1 bar those two but some of them are pretty underexposed and could have any amount of improvement in them. So market moves should be watched.
Selection; Getaway Kate Mai
Best Alternative; Posh Trish

April 3rd

Precautionary Inspection 8a.m.

Fairyhouse (Going; Heavy)

Boyle Sports Juvenile Hurdle (2m)
Eight have been declared for this Grade 2 but it seems unlikely that Veneer of Charm and Pete So High will turn out after running yesterday leaving Gordon Elliott with just Mitchouka to take on four Willie Mullins runners and one from Joseph O'Brien. Mitchouka was highly fancied for the Fred Winter at Cheltenham but having been badly hampered at the third he was weakening when pulled up between the last two. He carries a penalty here conceding 3LB to his rivals. Sagalway was well beaten on his Irish debut in January but reappeared at Gowran in early March and romped home by 15L. Saldier made a few jumping errors in the Triumph at Cheltenham before finishing 5th albeit 25L behind the winner. That was only his second start over hurdles and he should come on for it. Msassa was fully expected to win on his only start in Ireland just over two weeks ago and justified the 1/4 odds. The runner up, who was beaten a long way by Saldier in February at Gowran, came out in Cork on Sunday and won by 16L. Eoline Jolie, who gets the fillies allowance, won her only start in France and makes her Irish debut here so is best watched. Grey Waters has been on the go since April mixing Flat and Hurdles. She won two hurdles in late summer but has found Graded company a bit bit to much. However in this Ground anything can happen. Noel Fehily rides a lot of the Sullivan Bloodstock horses in England and I don't know if it's significant that he rides Msassa , one of three for the owner here, with Paul Townend on the early favourite Sagalway
Selection; Msassa
Best Alternative; Sagalway