Our resident pundit has three bets over the jumps this afternoon, including a two-point selection.
WALKING IN THE AIR (best price 3-1) was predominantly up against some classy opponents in his first season over hurdles and although he only managed one success in four starts, he looks to have bright prospects of improving significantly on that tally during this campaign. His two best efforts arguably came in defeat when runner-up to the very smart pair Lake View Lad and Hell's Kitchen and he doesn't appear too badly treated on the basis of that form on his first start in handicap company.
MORGA (best price 7-1) has improved significantly since disappointing behind Copy That in this race last year and although it's not guaranteed that she will turn the form around with her old rival, she's worth a punt to do so all the same. Proof of her progression are highlighted by her excellent recent performances on the level, such as a fine runner-up spot behind Dermot Weld’s talented filly, Alveena. Prior to that smart effort, the daughter of Whipper had also run a commendable race when fourth to subsequent Ebor hero, Heartbreak City over today’s C&D and a repeat of that level of form should ensure she’s a big player in this similar contest this afternoon.
BRISTOL DE MAI (NAP) (best price 5-4) was at times simply spectacular in his first season over fences and this looks to be a decent starting point to kick-start this campaign in the top flight. Although beaten on his chase debut by Garde Le Victoire, Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge soon cast that defeat to one side with notable victories in top-quality Graded races at Haydock and Sandown and those two wins meant that he lined up at the Cheltenham Festival as a warm favourite for the JLT Novices' Chase. Even though he was beaten fair and square on the day by Black Hercules, the son of Saddler Maker left the impression he may have obliged had a jumped with a little more fluently and those slight jumping frailties also went on to cost him dear on his final start last season at Ayr. Seemingly best in small fields, hopefully he gets into a decent early rhythm and if so, this free-going sort should take some catching around a track that often rewards an attacking run-style.