Champagne Tara is one of four selections from Andy Holding on a bumper day of racing.
McCABE CREEK (best price 10/1)
was heavily involved in a hot race for the grade at Taunton last time out and a repeat of that sort of performance gives Alan King’s inmate every chance of finally shedding the maiden tag. The son of Robin Des Pres has suffered one or two near misses in his 10-race career and did so again when runner-up to the well-handicapped Doctor Look Here in that strongly-run contest at the West Country venue back in mid-December. The form of that race has been franked since by the unlucky third Winning Spark, so it looks reliable, and even though this lightly-raced six-year-old has been off the track 51 days, he’s been reportedly pleasing connections at home of late.
McCabe Creek - 0.5pt e/w @ 10/1Won 6pt
In what should turn out to be a humdinger of a contest, SHANESHILL (best price 15/8)
is taken to keep his unbeaten record over fences intact and provide connections with a headache of what race to go for at the Cheltenham Festival. A top class bumper and hurdles performer, Willie Mullins’ inmate has made a bright start to his record over fences, recording two impressive victories so far to date both visually and on the clock. On each occasion the son of King’s Theatre has jumped in the manner of a horse sure to take high rank over the larger obstacles in years to come and even though this trip might just be short of his best, the galloping nature of the track should offset that slight negative.
SHANESHILL – 1 point win@15/8
Shaneshill - 1pt @ 15/8Lost -1pt
Although beaten 24 lengths when slightly disappointing on her comeback run at Leopardstown, MORNING RUN (best price 5/4) can bounce back to form and prove that she’s one of the best mares around over 2m. Fresh and well after a long break, it was clear that the combination of racing too keenly over 2m 4f in heavy ground cost her any chance of winning that day and she makes much more appeal now racing back over her optimum trip on ground that suits her best.
Morning Run - 1pt @ 5/4Lost -1pt
It will be interesting to see how the betting shapes up between the two J.P McManus’ leading contenders, but as it stands, CHAMPAGNE AT TARA (best price 6/1)
rates the value pick of the pair at the respective early prices. A slightly quirky customer, Jonjo O’Neill’s inmate received a beautiful ride from Richie McLernon when getting up in the dying embers of a strongly-run maiden hurdle at Catterick last time out and as the horse that he beat that day, Tippmanboy, would have won but for falling at the last next time, the form looks reasonable solid. Likely to be given a similarly patience ride here, the son of Kayf Tara makes plenty of appeal from an each-way perspective over a course that should play into his strengths.
Champagne At Tara - 1pt e/w @ 6/1Lost -2pt