Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
Envoi Allen looks very much the one to beat, his form was given another boost by Abacadbras here on Tuesday, and he deserves favouritism. However, all bar one of his wins have come at around 2 miles and that gives me some hope that he may be worth opposing at 4/6. He is much the most likely winner but I’d prefer to be taking him on at the prices.
The Big Breakaway and The Big Getaway are closely matched on form and while we know a fair bit about Envoi Allen the same cannot be said about this pair, both of whom may have lots of untapped potential. My narrow preference is for THE BIG GETAWAY (11/1 generally) who can be forgiven his hurdling defeat on his debut over obstacles – he was travelling best when making a bad mistake at the last. Next time out he won emphatically and is a physically imposing specimen who is likely to come on from that run significantly.
He is likely to be prominent and if he can pour it on coming round that final bend he may be difficult to pass up the hill. Envoi Allen and The Big Breakaway look the main dangers.
RSA Novices’ Chase
EASY GAME (12/1 Sky Bet, Unibet, Bet Victor) looks to me to have a similar chance to the quartet at the front of the market but is available at three times the odds. He’s relatively inexperienced over fences but he beat stable companion Allaho (as low as 4/1 here) on his debut before an excellent second to Faugheen last time.
The trip is the concern but he has shaped as though he’ll stay and there is plenty slack in the price ot account for that question.
There isn’t much between the front four in the market, any one of whom could win without being judged a surprise winner. Minella indo has a bit to find on ratings in my book while Copperhead’s rise up the ranks hasn’t included any really notable scalps, impressive though he’s been. Champ is clearly a talent but his reputation precedes him somewhat and of the four I think Allaho may be Easy Game’s biggest danger. At the prices though, Easy Game looks the one to be on.
There is not likely to be much between Defi De Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi. My narrow preference is for CHACUN POUR SOI (6/4 Unibet) who can hopefully make it a memorable Wednesday for Willie Mullins by confirming last season’s Punchestown form with the Phillip Hobbs’ trained Defi De Seuil.
Chacun Pour Soi’s two runs this season have been top class. Defeated by a Plus Tard at Leopardstown over Christmas he then made short work of Min in the Dublin Chase at the start of February. That light campaign could pay dividends here.
Defi De Seuil is likely to be fighting up the hill and it could be a good race between the pair, or even the trio if Altior lines up fit and well. If you swapped the prices around I’d swap my selection but at the current odds Chacun Pour Soi gets the nod.
Other races –
Coral Cup – JP McManus runs five in this including three of the front four in the market. But I think he has a great chance with his outsider of the quintet, TOP MOON (25/1 Bet365). He was second to Alfa Mix on his penultimate run back in November and enjoys a 7lb pull for a length and a quarter beating. He wasn’t disgraced next time when midfield at Leopardstown and it is more than conceivable that this has been the target since that November race.
Cross Country Chase – TIGER ROLL (10/11 generally) looks to have plenty in hand and has shown his liking in the past for this unique test. He’s difficult to oppose.
Boodles (Fred Winter) H’Cap Hurdle – A real puzzle where it’d be difficult to hold too strong a view. TRONADOR (9/1 Bet365) could have been let in lightly on 10-13 and has been given a mention or two by the trainer in the run up to the meeting. Ridden with restraint last time after having been prominent when winning the time before he potentially has the hallmarks of a big improver.
Champion Bumper – The Irish hold a typically strong hand with Appreciate It looking a solid favourite. He looks short enough though and this race can turn up big priced winners. The pair I like are Adrimel, who won last time at Doncaster when beating one of Kim bailey’s with the pair finshing clear, and Elliott’s DARLING DAUGHTER (20/1 William Hill, Bet Victor) who won a decent, valuable mare’s race last time in good fashion at Leopardstown in February. Lisa O’Neill piloted that day and is back on board here. She looks like one that could quite feasibly trouble those at the head of the market.