Andy had a great day on Wednesday so don't miss his tips from Punchestown and Lingfield.
Hugely impressive at Kempton two starts ago, SUQOOR (best price 13/2)
is fancied to bounce back to form following a slightly disappointing effort on the turf at Newmarket last time. On the evidence of his display at the Surrey venue that evening, Chris Dwyer’s charge is clearly a much better horse on an all-weather surface and this smooth-travelling son of Equiano has the capacity to keep on improving when running under his optimum conditions.
SUQOOR - 1pt e/w @ 13/2Won 7.8pts
ADMIRAL BRIAN (best price 16/1)
arrives here bang in form following a smooth success at Ballinrobe the last day and the son of Brian Boru has a decent chance of providing his trainer/jockey combination a notable victory. A real strong traveller through his races, Eamonn O’Connell’s charge will be suited by the hurly-burly nature of this big-field handicap and he looks a tall price at 16/1 for a horse of his ability.
Although ROCONGA (best price 8/1)
hasn’t really set the world alight over hurdles so far to date, several decent performances on the all-weather at Dundalk recently should have given Edward O’Grady’s charge with plenty of confidence to make his mark in a race like this off his current rating of 116. Given his only two modest performances so far over hurdles have come when the ground has been on the testing side, today’s livelier surface (hopefully the track doesn’t get too much rain) will provide the Rakti gelding with the ideal conditions to run at maximum capacity.
ADMIRAL BRIAN - 0.5pts e/w @ 16/1Lost -1pts
ROCONGA - 0.5pts @ 8/1Won -0.5pts
Without his old rival Thistlecrack in the line-up, the door has been left wide-open for ALPHA DES OBEAUX (NAP) (best price 6/4)
to walk through and capture the big Grade 1 prize he thoroughly deserves. The only horse to live with Colin Tizzard unbeatable superstar over this trip in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham, the son of Saddler Maker had his medals blazing on his chest in finishing a gallant second. As the pair pulled miles clear of the rest, the form and the time figure suggest Mouse Morris’ charge is a genuine top-class performer in his own right over this distance and providing he runs somewhere near the level he did that day at Prestbury Park, it’s difficult to envisage him not rounding off the season in the best possible fashion.
ALPHA DES OBEAUX - 2pts @ 6/4Lost -2pts
HAYMOUNT (best price 11/1)
has been a total model of consistency all season long and he is strongly fancied to finally have his big day in the sun in this competitive handicap hurdle. Runner-up to the likes of Royal Caviar and subsequent Pertemps Final winner, Mall Dini, earlier in the campaign, Willie Mullins’ charge got his just rewards for a series of fine placed efforts when striking for the first time over hurdles at Gowran two starts back. The form of that race was boosted by the runner-up going to score readily on his next outing and even though the son of Presenting didn’t managed to add to the win tally on his latest outing, finishing a solid fourth in a decent Grade 2 event at the Fairyhouse Festival can hardly be seen as a backward step. All the time while he’s been plying his trade to a high standard over the winter, he’s been shaping like a horse who would appreciate better ground and with conditions at today’s track continuing to flat-line, it would be slightly disappointing if this tall, rangy, chasing type wasn’t in the thick of the action off his current mark.
Of the rest, SONNY B (best price 16/1)
was in the process of running a huge race when tipping up at the last in a similar contest at Fairyhouse last time out and on the evidence of that display, John Walsh’s charge should go well again. Prior to that unlucky episode, the son of Spadoun had won in the style of a progressive handicapper at Thurles and Cork and with stamina very much his main attribute, the likable nine-year-old has enough qualities to figure prominently.
HAYMOUNT - 1pt e/w @ 11/1Lost -2pts
SONNY B - 0.5pts e/w @ 16/1Lost -1pts