17:30 Champion Stayers Hurdle
The front three in the market look really solid here, with Penhill likely to improve for his win in the equivalent event at Cheltenham, Bacardys catching the eye before falling at the last when likely to have finished third and Identity Thief a revelation stepped up to three miles at Liverpool. I also fancy that La Bague Au Roi is open to lots of improvement for tackling this trip again.
What that means, in short, is that the others, including the once-untouchable Faugheen, will struggle to make an impact, and both he and Diamond Cauchois, who isn’t up to this class as yet, are easily opposable in the place market. The latter is weak in the market, and I’ll take a watching brief rather than chase the price out aggressively, but I’d happily add him to the bet if he comes in for late support.
Faugheen’s win over this trip came as a novice, and while stamina isn’t really a concern, his yo-yo-ing form since returning from a long absence is. He looked a light of former days in the Champion Hurdle, and that tame effort had nothing to do with the trip.
19:15 Close Brothers Mares Novice Hurdle
On the face of it, Danny Mullins replacing corinthian amateur David Dunsdon on the latter’s family-owned Redhotfillypeppers looks a big positive, as the difference in ability in the saddle is palpable, but the daughter of Robin des Champs looks tripless, and while she was still in front when falling at Fairyhouse last time, the race had not begun in earnest, and she doesn’t really have a piece of form over hurdles to make her of particular interest at this trip.
Her win at this track two starts back came over much further on heavy ground, and her rivals allowed Dunsdon to build up a big lead without going quickly, so the form must be treated with caution.
This race isn’t particularly deep at first glance, but the prospect of black type will ensure they are all trying, and Redhotfillypeppers will do well to shake off her early pursuers given the relative test of speed.
- 17:20 Lay Faugheen for a place @ 3.1 or shorter
- 17:20 Lay Diamond Cauchois for a place @ 5.0 or shorter
- 19:15 Lay Redhotfillypeppers for a place @ 2.9 or shorter