Andy Holding fancies Dermot Weld's charge in the Champion Bumper this afternoon.
With the dead eight runners set to go to post and the front two taking a huge chunk out of the market, this looks an obvious race to manufacture some form of each-way thievery – so step forward VYTA DU ROC (best price 10/1)
. A top-class novice hurdler last season, Nicky Henderson’s charge was slightly unlucky not to claim the Neptune here twelve months ago and he went on to prove that was the case with another solid effort behind Thistlecrack in the Grade 1 at Aintree. The son of Lion Noir began his career over fences in the best possible fashion with a smooth success at Bangor and even though he failed follow up that victory at Doncaster next time out, there was no disgrace in chasing home the useful Bouvreuil, who advertised the form with a terrific effort at Cheltenham yesterday. His best performance, and the one that gives him excellent claims in this race, however, comes courtesy of his latest win in the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot 25 days ago. Staying on strongly off the back of testing fractions, the seven-year-old proved that he has stamina in abundance and with Minella Rocca and Ballyalton boosting the form in the best possible fashion on day one of the meeting, the likable grey gelding has the sort of profile with many previous winners of this bruising encounter.
Vyta Du Roc - 1pt e/w @ 10/1
Dermot Weld has a decent record in this event down the years and that tradition looks set to be upheld by FIRST FIGARO (best price 16/1)
. His latest effort when chasing home the very smart Lucky Pass reads well on paper and on the clock and the better ground should ensure he outruns his 16/1 quotes.
First Figaro - 0.5pt e/w @ 16/1
PETER THE MAYO MAN (NAP) (best price 4/5)
ran with an immense amount of promise on his debut for new connections at Doncaster last time and he this looks a great opportunity for Neil Mulholland’s charge to get off the mark over hurdles. Nicely backed in what was a keenly-contested and well-run novice event on Town Moor, the Dylan Thomas gelding was just working his way into contention when he made a complete Horlicks of the second last. Rallying to the cause, the way he stayed on in the latter stages suggested he may have had a significant say in the final outcome had he not made that untimely blunder and given the fact he was still entered in the Neptune at the Cheltenham Festival until the final declaration stage indicates how well regarded he is at home.
Peter The Mayo Man - 3pt @ 4/5