Architect Tips is back with ten tips from today's action, including a NAP at Newbury.
There is a possibility that this trip will be on the short side but this race is sure to be run at a strong pace and this could be the time KITTY’S LIGHT (best price 16/1) finally lands a valuable pot for connections. He made the frame three times in Grade Three events last season, including in the Scottish Grand National off a mark of 143 and third in the bet365 Gold Cup off 145 and is back on an attractive mark with fitness sure to be spot-on following two spins last month.
He is down to 140 here due to not making a serious impact in both starts this term but this is an ease in grade and conditions will be in his favour. It might also worth mentioning that Jack Tudor has still opted to ride him over Cap Du Nord, who he actually rode to victory in this race two years ago, so in the hope he can keep his mount interested and in contention when the race starts to get competitive, the six-year-old could go well at huge odds top-weight with five places generally available. He is given one more chance.
This is a really-competitive handicap event but PORTICELLO (best price 6/1) was a smart juvenile last season and despite conditions being on the fast side, Gary Moore’s charge has to come under consideration on his handicap debut here. He won the Grade One Finale in great style at Chepstow having split both Knight Salute and Impulsive One at Doncaster in a Grade Two.
He then ploughed through the ground to win easily on his next start at Haydock to make it three wins from four starts in Britain and fared best the British when sixth in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham on his final start. He should be fully effective at this longer distance and there’s a possibility he could have too many gears and class for these if able to handle the likely quicker conditions with his trainer in great form.
Olly Murphy saddles just the one runner on the card, WASHINGTON (best price 11/2) could be a big player now tackling this longer distance. He has only finished out of the frame once in all career starts which came when fifth of ten on his return at Ascot last month.
He has yet to compete over a trip this far but he could be suited to it and connections will apply the hood too. He was third off this mark in a big-field handicap at Aintree back in April, so he’s clearly capable of being competitive off this mark and, with that latest run under his belt, he could go very well here.
TEDDY BLUE (best price 11/4) was highly tried earlier this year and his only disappointment was when down the field in tenth place in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. He returned with a close-up second in a Listed event and would have won without a mistake at the second last hurdle before easily going one better when last spotted.
He looks to have been let in very lightly on his handicap debut off 129 here and, with more to come, Gary Moore’s smart youngster could take some pegging back here. He can capitalise on the weight he gets from First Street, who’s his biggest danger, but is conceding also fitness to the former and that is enough to lean towards the four-year-old on these terms.
As always, the Coral Gold Cup is one of the toughest handicaps of the jumps season, but I am quite keen on two participants for this year’s race. The first one of the two is the Paul Nicholls-trained THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE (best price 10/1) who’s been targeted at this race for quite a while by the champion trainer. The seven-year-old has the ideal profile for this race and has won nine of his fourteen career starts to date. He won four of his first five starts over hurdles with his only defeat that campaign coming in the 2021 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle when sixth of 16.
He has since matched that form over fences, where he won four on the trot, including a pair of Grade Two events and shaped a lot better than the finishing position indicated when sixth in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. It’s clear that Cheltenham isn’t really his course and elsewhere, he’s a winning machine. He had a nice prep-run over hurdles at Wetherby last time when third and cheekpieces will be applied here. His yard is in excellent form and his trainer has a greys record in this contest, so this seven-year-old must have an excellent each-way chance here with most firms offering five places.
Colin Tizzard has also enjoyed plenty of success in this race and I think his OSCAR ELITE (best price 17/2) who also warmed up for this race with a spin at Wetherby (same race as the former), has a good chance at the weights. He is yet to win over fences but he twice made the frame in Grade One events over hurdles and ran a belter when third of 24 to Corach Rambler in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
He should be a lot sharper for his reappearance fifth over hurdles and Harry Cobden, who rode him at Cheltenham, is back in the saddle. He clearly has a big pot in him, so in the hope he can travel and jump as well as he can do, this talented seven-year-old has to be classed as one of the leading players. Moreover, he gets into this off a really low-weight and the good ground will suit him well indeed. This could be his time to shine and he’s selected each-way with five places widely available.
The Venetia Williams-trained L’HOMME PRESSE (best price 15/8) developed into a high-class novice chaser last term, who won his first five starts, including a pair of Grade One’s, and is fancied to concede weight all round here on his return. The fact that Charlie Deutsch has came here to ride him rather than go to Newbury suggests he’s the best chance of a winner for his stable today. His last start at Aintree can be forgiven as he was clearly feeling the effects of a long and successful season and, although he makes his return off a tough mark carrying top-weight, his class could see him come out on top here.
I’ll also have an each-way bet on the Kim Bailey-trained HAPPYGOLUCKY (best price 15/2), who has an excellent chance of at least making the frame here. He enjoyed a good campaign over fences in 2021, for which he finished second in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival before going one better at Aintree. He looks tailor-made for this race and David Bass has his only ride on the card, while this consistent chaser is Bailey’s only runner here. He’s two-from-two fresh, so his fitness might not actually be a concern and it’s hard to see him not making a bold bid here off a mark that’s only two pounds higher than when he won at Aintree.