NAP OF THE DAY:
Uradel – (1450 Coral Cup), 3pts win, 11/2
This Willie Mullins trained hurdler is fiendishly well handicapped over hurdles. A big flat winner at Galway last Summer he was brought down when going well in that same meeting’s Galway Hurdle. Then a fine 2nd in the Cesarewich on the flat, he returned to hurdling with a one-paced 5th at Leopardstown on quick ground. This extra trip and a bit of cut are ideal and he sneaks in here off near bottom weight. Triumph winner Farclas under Davy Russell are probably the biggest dangers, but Uradel should deliver.
RACE OF THE DAY:
Min – (1530 Champion Chase), 1pt win, 9/2
The Champion Chase is Altior’s for the taking. The great horse is unbeaten in 4 years and the reigning champion. That said he was a bit erratic, albeit still brilliant at Ascot last time. Two of his wins here have come at the 7l expense of Willie Mullins’ Min. That should be the same outcome here, but given how short Altior is in the betting, if Ascot’s antics are a sign of any slippage then Min should be the one to prosper.
REST OF THE CARD:
City Island – (1330 Ballymore Hurdle), 1pt win, 10/1
This is a cracking novice hurdle. There is enough strength in depth here to avoid the short price for Champ even though he has a fair chance, whilst Battleoverdoyen looks a bit naïve for this hurly burly. We like Brewin’upastorm and City Island. Brewin’ comes here off a fall and that is enough to swing it to City Island who has looked very good in shallower waters and could still be anything.
Delta Work – (1410 RSA Chase), 1pt win, 2/1
This has boiled down to three leading contenders. Topofthegame is a cracking horse, but this stiffer 3m may find him out. We are big fans of Santini who many pundits seem to hate, this track and this course will be ideal, but a bruised foot over the last week is not. That points to Delta Work as the clear pick, a winner here, in form, fit and healthy and the sublime Davy Russell as the tie-breaker supreme.
Urgent de Gregaine – (1610 Cross Country), 0.5pts ew, 12/1
Not much point getting too scientific here. Tiger Roll looks to defend his title and barring accidents he really should, we just don’t like picking at that short. Urgent de Gregaine ran him to 2l last year, and will like the rain getting into the ground. He has had just one run since when pulling up, which is hardly ideal, but he is the only possible value against a very strong favourite.
Lethal Steps – (1650 Boodles Hurdle), 2pts win, 8/1
This is often a trappy race for juveniles, but if in doubt trust Gordon Elliott. He looks to have carefully prepped Lethal Steps for this, getting him just the right rating to secure a place in the field but a crucial low weight. Add in Davy Russell and he looks an outstanding pick. Top weights don’t do so well here, although Band Of Outlaws is clearly a cut above the average here and represents the biggest danger.
Meticulous – (1730 Bumper), 1pt win, 8/1
The Irish have helped in the prep for this by staging a top class bumper at Leopardstown in February. Envoi Allen was the good winner there and favourite here, but we aren’t so keen on the breeding match to this course. Meticulous was second at Leopardstown finishing well from a poor position. He could be the one to prosper if the favourite is below par. Blue Sari represents the master Mullins, but Willie’s had a weak year in bumpers and he may be the best of a bad lot, still could be anything, but we prefer the more proven form.
The Daily Yankee:
Delta Work – Uradel – Lethal Steps – Meticulous
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