Roi Des Francs has a bit to find on bare ratings but he has improved with each chase start this term.
The Neptune looks a race between the front pair in the betting. It’s the trial’s day performance from Yanworth that gives him the edge though, for all Yorkhill is without doubt turning up in the right race. All in all it’s a powder dry opener. I am, however, keen to take on the market leaders in the RSA. More Of That doesn’t convince and I’d rather have seen No More Heroes out a little more recently. Don Poli bucked that trend last year but this is a tall order having not been seen since the end of December (am also still sore having been so sweet on him for the Albert Bartlett last year). Roi Des Francs has a bit to find on bare ratings but he was rated the same as No More Heroes over hurdles and he has improved with each chase start this term. His Martin Pipe run, where attempting to give weight to Killultagh Vic, has worked out very well and it’s no disappointment to see Ruby Walsh take up the ride.
I’m going back and forth in the Coral Cup between Blood Cotil and Arbre De Vie. Ruby has seemingly chosen the lesser fancied of the pair and, rather than pin colours to one, it’s probably best to leave both alone. Politologue has had this on his radar for some time and there’s still some juice in his price. Connections won this 12 months ago with Aux Ptit Soins and both are considered future Gold Cup horses. 142 could be left well behind. His Barters Hill form is not to be sniffed at and he had a nice confidence booster last time after which his mark was quite rightly left alone. His track experience when unseating isn’t ideal but, equally, he did seem to handle the course prior to that freak incident and I think he has a proper chance here. At a bigger price is Hunters Hoof who seems to relish good ground, and that appears to be what we are dealing with after the times yesterday. The form of his last run (soft) has worked out well and I’m not worried we’ve not seen him since. Nicky Henderson knows how to ready one, has a good record in this and his mark has been nicely protected.
Hoping Un De Sceaux wins the Champion Chase but it’s a no bet race and I’ll save a play for the Fred Winter. I’m very tempted by Voix Du Reve in a first time hood given he didn’t settle last time. Romain De Senam really leaps off the page at the prices though. He doesn’t have the hype of stable companion Diego Du Charmil but big prices are the way to go in this and he has the hood back on, which he really looked in need of last time. It clearly helped him 2 starts back when giving weight to Jaleo and I’m inclined to forgive him his run here prior to that without the aid of the headgear and the tongue-tie. He was a winner on good ground at Wincanton and his trainer has good record in this. I’m hoping that Dan Skelton has learnt from his old boss too as Kasakh Noir must have a good chance. He looked a hot prospect at Newbury before disappointing over Christmas back at that track. That said, the form is solid and the yard were struggling at the time. He did get back on course with a win last time where I’m sure they had one eye on this race and the 2nd that day, Woolfcatcher, wasn't disgraced in the Adonis next time. Duke Street completes the shortlist.