We kick off todays three selections over in Ireland with the big Grade 2 race over two miles.
With just the six runners it’s still far from surprising to see top notch jumps trainer Willie Mullins saddle six of the runners, all for separate trainers.
The Gigginstown owned Mozoltov is a course winner who, despite at the age of ten, has a rather sparing race career to date. With not many races under its belt and a promising second last time out I think this Mullins runner could pose the biggest threat to stable mate and favourite Felix Yonger.
The favourite has a decent level of opposition today but I hate to say it, they still don’t seem up to the task of toppling them. We all know just how good a trainer Willie Mullins is, especially in his native Ireland and his formidable dominance will no doubt continue as Felix Yonger looks set to pick up another victory over course and distance today.
A mention has to go to Flemenstar who at one stage was touted as one of the next big things but now at the age of eleven and after a few niggles is a horse that never seemed to truly fulfil its potential.
Felix Yonger (WIN)
Making a quick dash over the sea for our second pick at Sedgefield where, unlike our first tip, this looks a much more competitive race and a bit of each way value looks to be the way forward in this one.
The short priced favourite and top weight Mixboy looks to have a chance, especially over the course and distance it won over previously. As a lightly raced six year old the horse has plenty of scope for improvement and with just a five pound rise on its last race it doesn’t seem too much of an obstacle standing in its way. This being said however and todays level of opposition looks set to prove a far more difficult task.
Fellow course winner Divine Port looks a definite threat, especially with Tom Scudamore in the saddle as does the Tim Vaughan trained and Richard Johnson ridden Shout It Aloud.
The horse I’m plumping for however represents a trainer who could potentially bag a hatful of winners here today. Brian Ellison trained a winner at Doncaster in one of Channel 4’s live races and sends eight year old Fair Loch here with a much better chance than its 16/1 price tag suggests. The horse has only recently been introduced to hurdling and has produced two victories from four starts. A slight drop in the weights for its previous outing where the very heavy ground and right handed track didn’t seem to help. Now back on a slightly better surface and going left handed it should improve on its last effort. Megan Carberry takes off another five pounds from the horses back and it’s definitely worth a shot for each way punters.
Fair Loch (E/W)
Our three selections all come in quick succession as another mad dash back over to Ireland so we can take in a cross-country race.
The king of the cross-country is undoubtedly trained Enda Bolger so it’s no surprise he saddles joint favourites Love Rory and Cantlow. I must admit my selection lies within this duo in the form of the AP Heskin ridden eight year old, Love Rory. A previous course and distance winner who has only recently changed ownership to JP McManus. At the age of eight it’s certainly not in the twilight of its career like the majority of its rivals and now running off a handicap mark lower than its last course and distance win it has to have a great chance.
Now if Enda Bolger is the king of cross-country the newly emerging queen has to be Nina Carberry who rides the other favourite Cantlow. A horse that on its day was a good chaser but with such inconsistent form and the cross-country being a bit of an unknown quantity I couldn’t be with it at such a short price.
The horse that looks most likely to cause an upset is Ballyboker Bridge who haas a course win to its name.
A market check might also be worth taking with Final Gift and Prosperity Square who could both do better then their big prices suggest.
Love Rory (WIN)