We start this Sunday over jumps at the Grand National venue Aintree and a two and a half mile hurdle for novices.
Champagne Present is the current favourite and an expensive purchase for the Jonjo O’Neill team makes his first appearance under rules. He has the potential to be a smart performer. The point to point ten length winner last season should improve for this run, especially with most of Jonjo’s horses appearing to need the run. However any further market support would be telling.
I am willing to take the favourite on with Vintage Vinnie for Barry Geraghty and Rebecca Curtis, he won a bumper last time out, only three weeks ago and should be fit for this effort. While that form does not look the most compelling, the way he won was most impressive. The son of Vinnie Roe also won his point to point, he pulled very hard at Ludlow last time and won readily.
Off the rest the McCain horses have the most experience however will need to carry a competitive and are very vulnerable to a improver.
Chicoria has been very disappointing since been sent off favourite on début. The Last Euro is the most likely to finish behind the two market leaders however making his first start under rules should come on for this run.
Vintage Vinnie (WIN)
We make a quick stop over in Ireland for the next selection and it comes in the form of the current market leader of Un Beau Roman.
The Mullins inmate has taken a while to go to boil over fences but won his beginners chase very comfortably and followed that up with an excellent run in a grade three contest behind the consistent Ted Veale. On all known form he should be very hard to beat.
Willie Mullins yard are going really well at the moment from a select few runners. Operating at a 36% strike rate over the last two weeks. It is very hard to see past a bold big from Un Beau Roman.
Shake The Bucket is talented however he is most likely to make his mark in novice handicaps later in the year but good run into some prize money.
The main danger will come from the Potts owned Cavite Beta, who could do with a boost in this sphere after loosing the talented Sizing Italy last week. However he has been highly tried over fences and could’t back up his beginners chase win in a handicap, when finishing behind He’s Our Man, who could finished fourth at Wexford on Saturday.
The rest look a class below the selection who should continue the Mullins good form.
Un Beau Roman (WIN)
The final selection comes from Wincanton in the Desert Orchid Silver Cup over a marathon trip of over three and a quarter miles.
Famousandfearless is the current market leader and represents last years winning owner, jockey and trainer. He is unbeaten over hurdles and does look ahead of his current mark. That said at the current prices he doesn’t offer up much value in what looks a very competitive race.
Philip Hobbs has two in here, with Richard Johnson preferring Imperial Circus who is ultra consistent but hasn’t won for a year and is still nine pounds higher than his last winning mark, so he is overlooked.
The selection will be the second Hobbs runner, Allthekingshorses with the excellent claimer James Best taking three pounds off. He won a novice chase around Wincanton first time up this season and is currently (including claim) six pounds below that mark. Hobbs horses are running well and he looks to be overpriced.
Pantxoa, Prince Tom and Lost Glory look weighted above their best on most recent form. Buck’s Bond like most Nichol horses will need the run.
Two of the key players unfortunately non runners which leaves this wide open and at best price 16/1 Allthekingshorses should at least outrun those odds.