1.30 – Neptune Novices’ Hurdle
What a race this promises to be. Yanworth heads the market and the British challenge after a super-impressive win here on trials day but despite how good that effort was visually, I’m not sure he’s bombproof. First of all, he’s by Norse Dancer which doesn’t exactly scream ‘Grade One’ winner to me and outside of Yanworth, the highest rated jumper he has sired is rated just 124. Admittedly, the form of his latest win has worked out well but that was a strange race in that his main rival, Shantou Village, didn’t go a yard on the ground which seemed to take its toll on a lot of runners. Alan King’s stable form is another worry as ae has only had one winner in the last fortnight despite 15 horses sub 10/1 including three beaten favourites. I’m keen to take the British banker on here, and I’m going to do so with Yorkhill. Unbeaten in four career starts under rules, this son of Presenting has looked awesome in each and every one of them, including when dotting up in the Grade 1 Tolworth last time out. Despite only facing four rivals, he couldn’t have won any easier and the form of the race has worked out fantastic with three of them winning next time out, including Agrapart who won one of the most competitive handicap hurdles of the year at Newbury. Being by Presenting, the Graham Wylie owned gelding should improve for better ground and the confidence from the Mullins camp suggests this horse is a bit of a superstar.
2.10 – RSA Chase
Another cracking matchup between No More Heroes and More Of That. Although it was two years ago, More Of That’s Grade 1 winning hurdle form was given a massive boost on Tuesday when Annie Power broke the course record in the Champion Hurdle. The JP McManus owned gelding powered away from the mare to win the World Hurdle on just his fifth career start and he’s unbeaten in two starts over fences. This horse is a class act, and although he has had his share of problems, he simply loves this course and is unbeaten in four runs at Prestbury Park. He faces a good horse in the form of No More Heroes, but More Of That was a 22lb better hurdler than Gordon Elliott’s charge and looks every bit as good as a chaser.
3.30 – Queen Mother Champion Chase
I really can’t see anything other than an Un De Sceaux demolition job here. He’s a cracking two-miler whose best jumping performance came in a facile Arkle win last March and I really think he’s going to pulverise these bunch of old-timers tomorrow. I love Sprinter Sacre and feel privileged that have seen him at the peak of his form, but as the great Ted Walsh once said, this is Cheltenham, not Lourdes. The one worry I have is that Nicky Henderson’s horses were at the top of their game on Tuesday but even still, the minute the gun is put to this horse’s head, I think he’ll turn around and run back down the hill and into the ambulance. Of the rags, I have a lot of respect for Sizing Granite who bounced off good ground in a Grade One at Aintree last season and has since switched to Colm Murphy, who certainly knows what it takes to win a Champion Chase. At 33/1 he represents good EW value and at 14/1 W/O UDS, he represents fantastic value.