BetVictor Gold Cup winner Taquin Du Seuil was a notable absentee from this afternoon’s Caspian Caviar Gold Cup when the 48-hour declarations were made and, at the time of writing, it is uncertain if Aloomomo (9/1 at BetVictor) will run with the ground currently good although there is now rain forecast to hit the track later this afternoon.
At 16/1 with BetVictor I’m going to take an each way chance on Module (1.50) who made a satisfactory return to the track following a long break in the Shloer Chase here at the last meeting. That run was over the minimum trip when he made a bad mistake at the first and the hope is that this step back up in trip will suit. The selection finished third in the 2014 BetVictor Champion Chase and he has been dropped 5lbs in the handicap since his reappearance.
The two Paul Nicholls trained runners Bouvreil, well backed earlier in the week, and Frodon are respected along with Kylemore Lough (8/1 at BetVictor) but I give the vote at double those odds to the Tom George-trained runner.
My Tent Or Yours (3.00) is hard to oppose unless there is significant rain in the International Hurdle given he receives weight from four of his five rivals and did finish second in the Champion Hurdle back in March. He is a horse who has often flattered to deceive, but I feel 11/8 is too big for a horse who receives 8lbs from second favourite The New One.
Different Gravey (12.40) has won six of his eight career starts and he can maintain his unbeaten record over fences in the 2m 4f Novices’ Chase again for Nicky Henderson. The 6-year-old was impressive on his chase debut at Ascot under David Bass and Noel Fehily takes over in the plate this afternoon; the gelding is currently 12/1 for the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Festival with BetVictor and I expect him to make it two out of two over the larger obstacles.
At Doncaster Blakemount (12.55) is 3lbs higher than when runner up at Sedgefield on his reappearance, but the winner has since followed up and the selection should appreciate the return to 3 miles in a competitive handicap chase. Knock House has his first start for Donald McCain and is one of a number of dangers.
At Carlisle tomorrow I think Compadre (12.00) will be a different proposition to the horse who disappointed on his reappearance at Chepstow for Jonjo O’Neill last month. The selection won a bumper at Bangor last November and was considered good enough to contest the Champion Bumper although he finished down the field. The trainer fits a hood for the first time on the novice hurdler who pulled too hard at the welsh track.
It wasn’t much of a race that Halcyon Days won at Hexham on heavy ground earlier in the week and I am going to take a chance on Freddies Portrait (12.30) on his seasonal reappearance despite the fact that this trip is likely to be on the sharp side for this winning point-to-pointer.
Urban Hymn is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time and looks well handicapped over fences at present; am market move would be worth noting. That said I am a big fan of Lake View Lad (2.40) and hope he can build on his Newcastle run when looking in need of the outing over a trip, arguably, on the sharp side. The stable of Nick Alexander have been firing in the winners of late and Stephen Mulqueen’s 5lbs claim is a plus. Fionn Mac Cul is likely to have his supporters for Venetia Williams.
Lemon’s Gent would be noteworthy at Southwell if the ground were good or better but Kitchapoly (12.45) has run well in defeat at both Worcester and Warwick and deserves to get his head in front for the Skeltons.
At Punchestown tomorrow the John Durkan Chase is the feature and it really is a cracker with JLT Novices’ Chase winner Black Hercules taking on stablemate and last year’s winner Djakadam who is the 13/8 favourite at BetVictor.
The ground was heavy, however, in the corresponding race last season and I just wonder if Sub Lieutenant (2.00) will have too much toe for the former Gold Cup runner up over this 2m 4f trip. The selection is 3/1 at BetVictor for this small but select renewal of this famous Grade 1 contest.
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