This year’s renewal of this prestigious handicap looks as wide-open as ever and both CLONDAW WARRIOR (best price 9/2)
and CH’TIBELLO (best price 8/1)
should turn out to be massive players on the pick of their best form. The former went through his latest race at Fairyhouse like a Ferrari and showing a nice turn of foot once given the office after the last, he readily pulled well clear of a decent field with quite a bit to spare. Although in an ideal world he could have done with the rain keeping away from the course in the build up to the race, he does have a big-race win to his name at the Galway Festival last year with plenty of cut in the ground, and with this contest likely to be run to suit his stalk and pounce style of racing, Willie Mullins’ inmate looks bound to go well.
Similarly to the main selection, the latter could also do with a dry 24 hours, but as the ground didn’t look too bad based on the evidence of the yesterday’s action, Dan Skelton’s charge might be able to get away with it. Not at his best on genuine winter soft ground at Newbury back in November, prior to that the son of Sageburg had made the subsequent Supreme Novices’ winner, Altior, pull out all the stops at Ascot and it’s that form which gives him a fine chance of going close off a mark of 135.