This is a very tough handicap to unpick. Last year’s first and second, Walk In The Mill and Kimberlite Candy, run again today with last year’s winner 8lb better off. On those grounds, you would think Walk In The Mill should again past the line first but the progressive Kimberlite Candy ran a stormer the last day and I fancy him to reverse the placings this year.
Kimberlite Candy will be one of the pacesetters and I also want to include a horse who will be staying on at the end and I think Smooth Stepper is great value at 25-1. Alex Hales is in great form and Smooth Stepper will relish the conditions today.
Kimberlite Candy 1pt e/w Smooth Stepper 1pt e/w
I am prepared to take a chance on GA Law here. This gelding is very progressive and, as a front runner, I think Gavin Sheehan will push him up to contest the lead with Allmankind. If he jumps smoothly, I think the chasers might struggle to catch him. Ga Law has won over 2m 4f and having Allmankind to run with him upfront means it will be a genuine pace. Given the testing conditions, Ga Law’s proven stamina might come into play.
Ga Law 2pt win
I had a very nice touch when Megan trounced her rivals at Leicester. I backed her for no other reason than she has the same name as my wife and her trainer is Edmunds – my wife’s maiden name. There are a number of unexposed types in this race so it is not one to apply science to. On that basis, I will back Megan again and have an each/way on Her Indoors!
Megan 2pts win Her Indoors 1pt e/w
It’s such a shame that Altior is not running but this remains an intriguing renewal of the Tingle Creek. I think the most likely winner is Politilogue – he only loses to very good horses. It is clearly significant that Cobden has chosen Greanteen but I still prefer the proven ability of his stablemate. However, if he runs I am going to take a chance on Rouge Vif who was very impressive at Cheltenham. I am presuming that if the ground is too soft for him Harry Whittington will withdraw him – conversely if he lets him run he is worth backing.
Rouge Vif 2pts win (If non-runner Politilogue 2pts win)
Santini ran a cracker in the Gold Cup and I immediately backed him to win the big prize next year. On that form, he is the one to be on here but Hendo has been a little evasive about his chances today and I am not convinced that he will be ready for this. Frodon ran a cracker the last time and must be respected. However, there is no more compelling evidence than Native River’s masterful performance in this race last year and I fancy him to repeat the victory in good style.
Native River 2pts win
Cloudy Glen and Classic Ben are the two most likely types in this. However, I have found the mud-loving Shanroe Santos too difficult to resist at 12-1.
Shanroe Santos 1pt win
The Sefton is not much easier than the Grand National for betting purposes. After lots of inconclusive analysis, which I won’t bore you with, I have chosen two against the field in Springtown Lake and Samtegal.
But the one that fascinates me is Might Bite. There is a lot of love behind this gallant horse who has won ten races and came second in the 2018 Gold Cup. However, since then he hasn’t been himself and achieved little last year – culminating in a poor run in the Cheltenham X-Country despite looking a picture beforehand. However, he showed a bit of sparkle on his seasonal reappearance at Ascot and I can’t let him go unbacked.