Allaho – Not been seen since winning the Punchestown Gold Cup last April which was a follow up win to his Demolition job in the Ryanair Chase at last years festival. Nothing has managed to get within 12 lengths of this Willie Mullins Star in his last 3 races and despite not having a run this term and possibly going into the festival without a prep race he will take all the beating once more in the Ryanair. We had hoped to see him line up in the Gold Cup but that is looking less likely at this point as he looks likely to complete a hat trick in the aforementioned Ryanair Chase.
Authorised Speed – Won his First two races over hurdles in very good style earning himself a tilt at the Tolworth hurdle at Sandown last month. Went off as 5/4 favourite for that race but folded tamely having run no sort of race, was later found to be “off colour” so will be interesting to see how he performs next time out. Holds an entry at Exeter on the 12th Feb over a slightly longer trip, hopefully this will give more clues as to where he will run at the festival. Realistically however we feel he will be an EW bet at best in either the Supreme or the Ballymore.
Barry The Butcher – Yet to get an outing under rules and likely that his first run will come in the Champion Bumper for Henry De Bromhead. Wherever the debut run comes it will be hyped up for sure and we cant wait to see him in action.
Better Days Ahead – Runner up on reappearance and was able to go one better next time out beating another of our 5o to follow in Chapeau De Soleil. Had the benefit of a run over Chapeau who couldn’t keep pace with him having done things the hard way from the front but a much closer contest could be expected should they line up again. Currently holds no entries at the festival but can be backed at around 10/1 NRNB for the Champion Bumper.
Blazing Khal – Another who is yet to reappear this season having not been seen since winning a grade 2 trial at Cheltenham in Dec 2021. That race looked a good form line to follow and much has been said about this ones chances as a staying hurdle prospect for this year’s festival. At 7/1 (NRNB) with no prep run however he would be no sure thing in what will be a very strong renewal given the potential line up, no doubt my heart will overrule my head come race day should he line up
Bombs Away – Unfortunately injured himself in his run at Aintree and was unable to recover.
Bonntay – Runner up behind Queen’s Gamble on reappearance at Cheltenham, a horse that had been specifically targeted at that race and didn’t disappoint for our 50 to follow readers. Followed that up with a decent 2nd on hurdles debut in December before getting a short break. Won comfortably despite hanging and looking a little novicey last week at Exeter and will be another exciting runner wherever she goes next. Currently holds no entries but can be found at a huge EW price of 40/1 for the Mares Novice Hurdle at the Festival next month which has to be a potential target.
Butch – Looked in need of his run back in October and put in a much improved run next time out when runner up behind a subsequent winner on Boxing day. The third that day has since run a big race in a Grade 2 novice event so the form looks pretty strong so far.
Chapeau De Soleil – (Also see Better Days Ahead) Good run in second on reappearance and will no doubt improve for that run. Holds no current entries but can be found at 8/1 for the Champion Bumper a race that his trainer has won 3 years running.
Churchills Boy – Put a poor reappearance run behind him with a couple of gutsy looking novice wins since. Latest win was slightly fortunate but it was a good performance nonetheless. Has an entry in the Ballymore Novices race and is currently available at 100/1 for that race but we don’t see that as a viable bet on what he has produced to date. Will no doubt be loaded up by the handicapper too once sent handicapping so its tricky to see where this ones next win will come from. A step up in trip could be a possible route entering handicaps to try and find a little more improvement this term. Sandown could be a track that offers up a decent purse maybe in the near future.
Complete Unknown – Switched to the bigger obstacles following a decent reappearance run at Haydock. Won with a little bit to spare at Ffos Las taking on the bigger obstacles for the first time and followed that up with a big run, albeit comfortably beaten at Warwick behind another from our list Galia Des Liteaux. Has no future entries currently but we feel that targets will be away from Cheltenham and could come at either Aintree in the Melling Chase or Sandown in the Oaksey Chase. Both are run in April and both have been won by this yard for the last 2 years running.
Crambo – A comfortable win on hurdles debut could not be backed up when fancied to go well in the Challow hurdle in December. Not been seen since but still holds plenty of potential and will be found a target somewhere. Where and when we are unsure, but he is entered at Bangor this Friday over the shorter trip of 2 miles, an explorative run that will hopefully give further pointers. The Albert Bartlett or the Ballymore were deemed my festival targets for this one but I expect we will know more after Friday. Very possible that he will try a run over fences before long too.
Don Hollow – Finished a good 3rd in a decent looking race on reappearance and could be forgiven his follow up run when getting a little bit knocked about at Ascot. Bounced back with a win last time out stepping up in trip for the first time and that race is already panning out fairly well too. Still very early days and the yard will have something mapped out for him but its a bit of a guessing game as to where he might head with no future entries in the book. Possible handicap targets for the festival could include the Coral Cup or the Martin Pipe Conditional although no prices are currently available.
El Fabiolo – Has improved over fences this term fulfilling the promise shown last year. Has won by a total of 29 lengths in his two chase starts and those wins have come against some very good opposition. Looks set to enter a dual again with Jonbon following last years Aintree clash where they were only separated by fractions and that head to head will come this time in the Arkle where they head the market. We would expect the Willie Mullins stable star to reverse the placings this time around before running again at either Aintree or the more likely Punchestown.
First Street – Stayed on strongly to win at Newbury in a very decent looking race and was far from disgraced stepping up in trip when 3rd in the Relkeel last month in behind stablemate Marie’s Rock who is also on our list here. Has an entry back at Newbury this Saturday in the Betfair Hurdle and could well defy his odds of 12/1. Will get his ground and looks overpriced for that race despite the burden of top weight.
Gaillard Du Mesnil – Has twice been denied by Gordon Elliot’s Mighty Potter with the most recent of those defeats looking more convincing at Leopardstown on Sunday. Both of his defeats this term have come over shorter trips and he will certainly fare much better when sent back up in trip. Looks likely to contest the Challenge cup over 3m 6f at the festival so will get that extra yardage and is currently the 13/8 fav for the race won by Messrs Willie and Patrick Mullins on no fewer than 3 occasions, including last years renewal.
Galia Des Liteaux – Has two very impressive heavy ground wins over fences this term, most recently stepped up to 3m at Warwick when accounting for the Paul Nicholls trained Complete Unknown in quite taking fashion. Those wins bookend a less than impressive performance when pulled up at Kempton but that run can be forgiven as he made a couple of race ending blunders making his task that day an impossible one. She holds an entry for Sundays Mares chase at Exeter, a race that she ought to be winning comfortably if she is to be taken seriously for her entry in the Brown Advisory at the festival. Currently 20/1 for that race. The Mares Chase would be another likely target at 16/1.
Gelino Bello – Very impressive in two novice chase events to start the season but came to grief next time out at Kempton when travelling well enough despite earlier errors. Was given a spin back over hurdles in the Cleeve hurdle at Cheltenham and again looked clumsy so some work will be needed in that area. Shown a tendency to jump right in a couple of races, a trait that will cost him dearly should he line up at the festival where he does hold an entry in the Brown Advisory and may be better suited by a return to the flatter track of Aintree avoiding a big effort at Cheltenham where we would be more inclined to support him. A run in the Mildmay Novice Chase in April should he dodge Cheltenham would be of particular interest.
Gentleman De Mee – Has taken his time to get going this season and had looked out of sorts in a couple of runs following an unseat on reappearance. Took a couple of races to get going last season too and bounced right back to form with a surprise win over Blue Lord last weekend in the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase. A change of tactics seemed to work the magic in that race and that could be the key to his future successes. Had previously been soundly beaten by Blue Lord and Edwardstone but looks back to his best just in time for the business end of the season. Has an entry in the Queen mother where he is currently 8/1 but will be yards second or 3rd string in that race should he run. Its hard to see where else they could run him beyond this race but a run at Sandown in the Celebration Chase would be an interesting one.
Hacker Des Places – Has continued his progression with two very pleasing runs in handicap company. Has an entry at Newbury on Saturday in the Betfair hurdle where he will need to defy another 5lb hike in the weights should he line up. Will most likely go to Aintree from there to contest another of the big handicaps over 2 miles. However his latest win at Cheltenham could tempt his owners to maybe take a stab at the County Hurdle where he is currently priced at 16/1.
Haute Estime – Very disappointing both over fences and hurdles since returning to action this term and must be frustrating his connections given the promise that he had shown last season. Its hard to know what will provide the key to this one getting back on track and he will be best watched for the near future. Mark will continue to ease but may need freshening back up before being trustworthy enough to follow.
I Am Maximus – Has made a pleasing enough start to a career over fences but has persistently run into better opposition. Its hard to see that changing unless a change is made and that could come in the form of a step up in trip so be on the lookout for a run over 3m plus. Has an entry in the Challenge cup where he would represent no more than EW chances from a price of around 25/1. Could well be a longer term prospect for a tilt at either a Cross Country Chase or even the Grand National given more time.
Kandoo Kid – Latest run in handicap company would tell you that the handicappers have got the measure of this one. That said he won’t need to slide far to start looking like an attractive prospect in that sphere. Tends to hang left so will be suited by Cheltenham or Aintree so depending on his revised mark this yard will place him well at some point so keep an eye on him when next entered up. His connections are profitable to follow at Sandown, Ascot, Chepstow and Taunton so a run at either of these tracks would be of note.
Langer Dan – Went on to win a good handicap at Aintree last April having been bought down early when sent off favourite for the Martin Pipe a month earlier. Has failed to get competitive this year so far and has now started to see his mark fall slightly. Won’t be long before he starts to get amongst it again in the big handicaps. Holds an entry in the Stayers Hurdle and is currently 100/1 for that but I’m less than certain that he needs that sort of stamina test and would be better sticking to handicaps at around the 2m4f mark. The County Hurdle would be a race that would offer better chances at 20/1
Leave Of Absence – Returned to action at the back end of October to win what is now looking to be an above average novice hurdle but has not been seen since that outing. All of his wins to date have come on Good ground and that would indicate that the right opportunities have been scarce. Make no mistakes however he will be ready to roll when the right race shows up and he should be bang there wherever it is. A possible target could be the Dovecote Novice at Kempton on the 25th, a race that the yard won last term or maybe they will hold off for a run in the Top Novices hurdle at Aintree should they deem him good enough.
Lily Du Berlais – Just 1 run since the turn of the season which came last weekend when soundly beaten by the Willie Mullins trained Fun Fun Fun. Would be entitled to come on for that run and was giving away weight too so could run that rival closer should she line up which at this point does not look likely. Could well be wrapped up for a run at either Aintree or Punchestown.
Lookaway – Not really gone on from the promise shown last term and will rate of more interest once handicapping maybe. No current entries but has won at Aintree and Newbury which would suggest that his best may come in a race where the emphasis is on speed. We will wait for a handicap mark now with this one.
Luccia – Unbeaten in 3 starts and looks a very exiting prospect for Nicky Henderson. Won well on seasonal reappearance back in November in a race that looks to be holding its form. Has been wrapped up since and will likely go straight to the Mares novice hurdle for which she is currently available at 3/1. She had been pencilled in for a run in the Tolworth back in January but didn’t line up due to an airway infection and Nicky has clearly been keeping the powder dry for a big tilt at the festival. Could well still get in a prep run but time is running out and would likely run under a penalty too.
Maries Rock – Just one run this term so far and an impressive one it was. Turned out a 6l winner of the Relkeel at Cheltenham last month and now looks set to return there in March to defend her crown in the Mares Hurdle. This years renewal will however feature Honeysuckle and possibly Epatante so it will be no gimme. She’s as tough as teak and whoever lines up you will get a run for your money. I’ve taken 5/1 on this one NRNB for the Stayers hurdle too just in case the yard don’t fancy taking on the Irish raider.
Marine Nationale – Won a very ordinary maiden hurdle on his seasonal reappearance but followed that up with a more striking victory in the Grade 1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse in December. Previous winners of this race include Hurricane Fly, Jezki, Nichols Canyon and Envoi Allen so it will be no surprise that he now heads the market for the Supreme Novice Hurdle at 7/2. I would expect that the Irish Champion Novice Hurdle will also feature as a season finale. A battle between this one and Facile Vega would rate amongst the best on offer this season.
Moka De Vassy – Looked out of his depth on reappearance in the Challow hurdle but looked a little more comfortable next time finishing a surprise 5th in the Ballymore Novice at Cheltenham last month. Has an entry in the Pertemps Network Handicap hurdle on Sunday at Exeter and would need taking very seriously for what has been a likely target for a yard that does very well at the track.
North Lodge – Yet to return to action following a very pleasing season last year. Did very little wrong and was only beaten by some top class opposition. Holds no current entries and leaves us in the dark as to when we will see him again. Skipped Cheltenham last year and we keep our fingers crossed for a return at Aintree where he ran well to round off last season.
Onewayortother – Pulled up when fancied on reappearance in what looks now to be a very ordinary race. Has not been seen since so we can only surmise that something has been amiss with this promising youngster and hopefully he will be back on track soon.
Poetic Music – Runner up behind a promising Dan Skelton trained horse on return at Ffos Las who has a pretty strong form line developing and followed that up with a very pleasing win stepped up in trip for the first time on Monday at Carlisle. Made a couple of errors that day and had raced keen early on so will have learnt plenty for the win. Showed a good attitude and will have plenty more to come. She is currently available at 33/1 for the Mares Novice race at the festival and we have taken a small EW nibble.
Porticello – Took a heavy and fatal fall on reappearance at Newbury.
Queens Gamble – A very comfortable winner of the Cheltenham bumper at the November meeting coming clear of what now looks to be an above average field. Had Bonntay back in second that day who has since gone on to better things along with a couple of other subsequent winners too. Couldn’t follow that up this week when pipped at the post by a promising looking sort from the Fergal O Brien yard. That race was not run to suit and she hit the front far too soon as the race fell apart. Run also came under a penalty and it should have her just right now going into the Festival where she is 25/1 for the Champion bumper. Some may have given up on her following the latest defeat but we are happy to go EW at these prices.
Ree Okka – Has performed with credit in a handful of very decent looking chases so far this season but is starting to look a little highly tried. Could do with a break from the handicapper which doesn’t look likely. Will find a race at some point and it will likely come over 3m on good ground. Not one for the festival and will likely pick up a decent Saturday race somewhere before the season is out.
Samarrive – Took a crashing fall on reappearance when making chase debut and was looking pretty good for the win before coming to grief. Massively under performed when next seen at Kempton in November and has been off the track since. Will be entitled to go very close in handicap company from his current mark should the yard have him back to his best and is worth keeping an eye out for him in one of the big handicap chases at the festival. Possible races to look at are the Irish Whiskey Plate or even a step up in trip for a tilt at the Ultima Handicap Chase.
Special Cadeau – Has shown very little in two starts since joining the Willie Mullins yard and is possibly best left alone at this time. Could be of more interest once going over obstacles or could well have a different aim altogether. He is with the Clipper Logistics group who put plenty of focus into Royal Ascot so it would be no surprise to see this one end up there.
Stag Horn – Pulled up on his only start back from a break in the Lanzarote. That was a belated return it would seem and he was pitched in very deep for a reappearance run. Too soon to write off but is another who is best watched for now. Hard to see where the yard go with him but future lies in handicap company we feel or could well be another that would take a tilt at a marathon flat race.
State Man – 3 from 3 so far this term with all wins coming in Grade 1 company. Top class performer who has taken care of everything that has been put in front of him this season. Most recent win came just last week when taking care of Honeysuckle to win the Irish Champion Hurdle. Looks set to go head to head now with Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle and will no doubt be his stiffest challenger yet. At 11/4 to beat the Nicky Henderson trained champ I’d have to sit back and just watch however and enjoy the spectacle.
Teddy Blue – Has run well in all four of his starts this term picking up 2 maiden hurdles races and running with credit in decent company on another occasion. Has an entry for the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury this Saturday but will be hard pressed to reverse the form with First Street. Improvement could be on the cards however and we will reserve judgement until after the event.
The Nice Guy – Was confirmed to be out for the season by Willie Mullins following an injury.
Thunder Rock – Impressive winner of a couple of nice novice chasing events to start the season and has run with credit on a couple of occasions since stepped up into graded company. Not beaten far in the Scilly Isles but does appear to have levelled off for now. Holds an entry in the Browns Advisory at the festival but that looks a pretty deep race and you would need to look for extra places with the 20/1 that is available.
Too Friendly – Runner up on his last two starts in handicap company so looks to be on or around the right mark. Does seem however to lack the extra yard that will get his head in front and we could not back him with any confidence in the current company he is keeping. That said however he may do well now freshened up with a break and hopefully will have a few issues ironed out. Improvement is possible and he is entered tomorrow at Huntingdon so will be interesting to see what price he opens up at.
Trolley Boy – Has run with plenty of credit in 3 races so far this term, all of which seem to be working out pretty well. Gave 6lb for a 1 1/2 length defeat to a Paul Nicholls horse on return who has come out to win 3 times on the bounce since. Looked to have run into one last time out too so still holds plenty of promise from his current mark and will get his head in front soon.
Vauban – Has finished behind State Man on both outings this term and looks very unfortunate to be heading on a collision course with that rival as well as Constitution Hill at the festival. We would want to see bigger than the current 9/1 available before we got involved.
West Cork – Has not really fulfilled his full potential since switching to fences and has pulled up on his latest two starts. Ran well enough in two novice events previous but has plenty to prove at present. Entered to run at Huntingdon tomorrow but would be impossible to back with any confidence. A switch back to hurdles may prove more fruitful.
Supreme Hurdle: Marine Nationale 7/2 will hold a favourites chance coming into this race but Willie Mullins will have plenty of ammo too and Facile Vega along with Il Etat Temps are just a couple who could spoil the party. Luccia would offer an interesting EW play at 33/1 but the Mares Novice would be a more fitting target for her on current evidence
Ultima Handicap Chase: Thunder Rock 16/1 could be sent this way but holds an entry in the Browns Advisory. He will be sure to run his race again but will possibly find a couple too good. Samarrive (tbc) would be an interesting entrant for the race and we have requested a price from B365 but they have declined.
Champion Hurdle: Looks set to go the way of Constitution Hill but he will get his stiffest test today when coming up against State Man. Just a watch for us at the prices however. A race for true racing fans and i can’t wait.
Ballymore Novice Hurdle: We will certainly be waiting for final declarations before getting involved in this one. Authorised Speed 50/1 and Churchills Boy 66/1 are two from our list that rate as interesting EW hopes should they line up.
Coral Cup: Another to wait for the final declarations but of our list First Street 16/1 and Don Hollow (tbc) would rate as possible contenders. A price has been requested for Don Hollow but B365 have declined
Champion Bumper: Chapeau Du Soleil 8/1 could well improve from his season opener to claim this race and we certainly wouldn’t put anyone off at his current price. Others from our list that could feature are Better Days Ahead 10/1, Barry The Butcher 20/1, Queens Gamble 25/1 (our EW selection) and Lily Du Berlais at 50/1 is worth a market check nearer the day.
Pertemps Network Final: Again a race that needs final declarations before getting involved but one that has gone the way of the Irish for the last 7 years with Gordon Elliot taking 3.
Stayers Hurdle: Blazing Khal 7/1 looks custom cut for this race but has not had a race and will likely come here off the back of a very long lay off should he line up. Marie’s Rock 8/1 (5/1 NRNB) could be sent here for what looks a very winnable renewal of this race to avoid what looks an almost certain encounter with Honeysuckle in the Mares Hurdle.
Mares Novice Hurdle: Luccia 3/1 has long been our selection for this race and it would mean far more than winning a bet should she perform up to my expectations here. I love this horse and cannot wait to see her in action. Poetic Music 33/1 is another on our list that would hold solid EW chances. Bonntay 40/1 Would be one for the extra places.
Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle: There are a couple on our list that would hold live chances if turning up in this one. Churchills Boy 50/1 would need to find more but is tough and with extra places often available could grab some EW money. Crambo (tbc) would rate another lively EW chance
Martin Pipe Conditional: Langer Dan 8/1 and Hacker Des Places 10/1 on best form would hold very realistic chances here. Teddy Blue 20/1 would offer some EW value but the one we want to see line up for this is Don Hollow who we cannot get a price for.
Arkle Chase: El Fabiolo 9/4 can get revenge on Jonbon here for his narrow defeat at Aintree last year. This Willie Mullins trained 6 year old still looked in need of match fitness the last time these two met and although both have made impressive starts over fences El Fabiolo has looked the more convincing of the two. Mighty Potter would offer decent EW value at 20/1
Mares Hurdle: Looks set to be an absolute cracker should the 3 at the head of the market turn up. We would find it almost impossible to separate Epatante, Maries Rock and Honeysuckle if we were pushed for an answer but we would still side with Maries Rock 7/2 should this be the route she takes. She is a very tough mare who would be foolish to bet against.
National Hunt Chase: The market is headed by one from our list Gaillard Du Mesnil at 7/4. He has been crying out for this much longer trip and we suspect that this race will go the way of last years winning father and son duo of Patrick and Willie Mullins who have won the race together on 3 occasions. Willie also rode the winner for his father twice back in the 80’s. I am Maximus 25/1 is another from the list who would represent decent EW value. Needs this sort of trip and will make up into a National Horse in the coming seasons.
Browns Advisory Novice Chase: We would like to see the final declarations for this before making a decision due to the amount of prospects we have an eye on holding an entry. Gaillard Du Mesnil 5/1 will likely go for the aforementioned Challenge Cup but it has been impossible to second guess Willie Mullins in recent years. Thunder Rock 20/1 would struggle in the current field but may be value for any extra places on offer. Galia Des Liteaux 20/1 due to run at Exeter on Sunday would be another to offer value but has other possible routes. I Am Maximus 40/1 also has other routes but would be of serious EW interest in here as would Gelino Bello 66/1
Turners Novice Chase: Similar to the Browns Advisory we will wait for final declarations for this one as a few from the list would hold excellent chances should they line up. El Fabiolo 10/1, Gaillard Du Mesnil 20/1, Thunder Rock 50/1 to mention a few but too early to be nailing colours to the mast
Ryanair Chase: Allaho 5/4 looks set to complete a hat trick of wins in this race, slight worry will be that he has not had a prep run this year and in previous seasons he has needed that run so the 5/4 looks tight. That said however he has won by no less than 12 lengths on the last two occasions. Just a watch from us and a race we look forward to as a fan, hoping to see the first ever triple winner of this prestigious race.
The Craft Irish Whiskey Plate: Not many from our list feature on the early shows for this but we would be very excited to see the Paul Nicholls trained Samarrive (tbc) get an entry.
County Hurdle: A race dominated by Mullin’s and Skelton in recent years so its no surprise to see the market headed by one of willies in Gaelic Warrior 5/1. From our list however Langer Dan 20/1 would be of huge interest should the Skelton’s opt for this over the Stayers. I’m not sure he would want the stamina test that race would provide but this looks perfect.
Mares Chase: Galia Des Liteaux 16/1 would hold excellent chances here should this be the route she takes but her path is uncertain at this point with a couple of other races also being toyed with as options.
Outside Of Cheltenham
Authorised Speed and Crambo both hold an entry at Exeter on Sunday 12th. Crambo will be having a second run since wind surgery so should improve on latest effort and Authorised would need to give weight away all round. So n certainties here and final declarations would be needed to call anything.
First Street, Hacker Des Places, Teddy Blue all hold an entry in this Saturdays Betfair Hurdle at Newbury. The market has Hacker as the more likely of these 3 but we like the chances of Nicky Hendersons First Street who would carry top weight but won over CD back in November from just 4lb lower and looked to have a little in hand there. Great EW value.
Galia Des Liteaux has an entry in the Mares Chase at Exeter this Sunday and it will be interesting to see how she goes on much quicker ground than what she has been doing her winning on should she run.
Complete Unknown would be of interest if entered up in either the Melling Chase at Aintree or The Oaksey Chase at Sandown, both races are run in April and would offer an alternative to Cheltenham.
Gelino Bello could swerve Cheltenham in preference for the Mildmay Novice at Aintree in April and would be a major player back on the much flatter track.
Gentleman De Mee will likely get a run in the Queen Mother but we would be very excited if he were to turn up at Sandown in April for the Celebration Chase, this race was created back in 2001 as an alternative to the Queen Mother when Cheltenham fell foul of the Foot and Mouth crisis. Its popularity has seen it remain amongst the fixtures list. It has been dominated by Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson in recent years but this Irish Raider would certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons.
Kandoo Kid would be of particular interest if sent to either of the following tracks given his connections, Sandown, Ascot, Chepstow or Taunton
Leave Of Absence could have possible targets at Kempton on 25th Feb in the Dovecote Novice or he may hold out for the Top Novice at Aintree.
Luccia has been entered up at both Uttoxeter and Exeter this weekend. You will be unlikely to get a price worth taking on in these races and be under no illusions this will be nothing more than a prep run for the main event.
Marine Nationale will be almost certain to go to Punchestown for the Irish Champion Novice Hurdle following Cheltenham. A race that is synonymous with previous Royal Bond winners.
Moka De Vassy is entered up at Exeter on Sunday for the Pertemps Network Hurdle and will need taking seriously from his opening handicap mark given his yards record at the track.
Too Friendly runs today in the 410 Huntingdon and will hold excellent chances having been freshened up West Cork from the same yard was also entered for a switch back to hurdles but has now been withdrawn