My PIcks for Tuesday...
With the previous weather being what it’s been, I’m going to base all my picks and selections based on SOFT going for the day.
1.30pm - Supreme
With Il Etait Temps beating Facile Vega at Leopardstown over Christmas, I’m willing to forgive him for his sub par run. Baring in mind that all of Willies big names ran really poorly so I’m going to stick with them. I pick Facile Vega over Marine Nationale for one main reason, jumping. FV jumps a whole lot nicer and cleaner than MN and all it takes is one bad jump and it can knock the wind out of a horse, especially running at full speed. I like Tahmuras as an each way bet after checking the stats for soft ground, distance, a galloping uphill finish on an undulating course, he fits all the criteria. Lots of other horse could run really well but i'm a stickler for criteria. I honestly think it could be between Il Etait Temps and Tahmuras for the places but at the price I like Tahmuras.
Win Bet - Facile Vega - 9/4
Each Way Selection - Tahmuras - 17/2
2.10pm - Arkle
I've watched so many preview nights and they're all torn between Jonbon and El Fabiolo. Again it comes down to jumping for at speed. Jonbon fits the mould for an Arkle winner all day long. Slick. Quick. Low. Efficient. All criteria you need to put together a winning run in an Arkle and when Matt Chapman asked Harry Cobden for a pick in the race he said, and I quote, "Jonbon is a god given certainty" which is good enough for me. For an each way bet i've keen on Saint Roi. I fully expect Dysart Dynamo and El Fabiolo to get racing quite early with Jonbon to sit back in 3rd waiting to pounce after they've run their race. I can see Saint Roi being just behind to stay up the hill and steal a place.
Win Bet - Jonbon - 13/8
Each Way Selection - Saint Roi - 17/2
2.50pm - Ultima
Again, going back to trends and patterns for this one as its a nice big field. Couple of key stats are all of the last 14 winners had all won over 3 miles and 14 out of 15 had placed round Cheltenham in the previous racing year. That reduces the field massively to effectively 5 horses that had placed round Cheltenham before but only 1 has won over 3 miles in the last year and that is Corach Rambler who staye on stunningly last year to win well, which has to be the form pick for me. Now Skybet are paying 8 places for this race allowning a couple of big fancies for me to have a real chance. However one for me stands out...finished 2nd at Cheltenham in October, tumbled down the weights and a good Cheltenham jockey on board. I'm a big fan of Remastered as well but I like the bigger price, rightly or wrongly.
Win Bet - Corach Rambler - 11/2
Each Way Selection - The Wolf - 28/1
3.30pm - Champion Hurdle
Not much to say about this race to be fair. Quite possibly one of the best horses we've all ever seen over jumps is 99% going to win this with the 1% him falling which has never looked likely. His run at the Fighting Fifth was scary, something similar is enough to see him easily home here. As for chasing him home....common sense would suggest its State Man and its hard to argue really. He just runs his race and wins. Again, not worth it at the odds for a second place and its not even worth it without the favourite. I'll personally be looking for I Like To Move It to beat State Man home. Solely down to value as I think State Man will be travelling with CH for a good chunk of the race and ILTMI could pick up the scraps for a 2nd place.
Win Bet - Constitution Hill (no bet really at the odds, just enjoy the race)
Each Way Selection - I Like To Move It - 18/1 and 5/1 without Constitution Hill.
4.10pm - Mares Hurdle
Now i'm sure i'm not alone hoping Honeysuckle can go out with a bang but after the way she folded last time out, it's very hard to see. I'll be cheering her home if she's there despite not backing her. For me this is a 3 horse race and I think its between Echoes in Rain. Epatante and Maries Rock. As much as I hate to say it, the trends suggest the winner is going to be Maries Rock with 10 out of 14 winners having won a Grade 1 or Grade 2 during the season and she looked ever so impressive in the Rekeel. Echoes in Rain is a very talented mare but the only doubt with her is the stamina test as she's stepping up in a trip ever so slightly against horses with proven stamina. Epatante on the other hand, 6 times Grade 1 winner and hacked up her latest Grade 2 race. She's a massive player and its going to be a great race.
Win Bet - Maries Rock - 5/2
Each Way Selection - Echoes in Rain - 10/1
4.50pm - Boodles
Another race where its a big field and quite hard to pick the winner so i'm likely to be taking advantage of the extra place to try and bump up my winnings. One i'm keen on is Bad, I managed to get a big 20/1+ price after watching his impressive final win in France. I'm very interested in Byker too, a big horse for an ex-flat runner so stomping up that hill should be ok. Sir Allen won the same Naas novice hurdle that has produced three of the last four winners of this. My other pick in the race is Perseus Way. Like I say, I find it a little tricky in these big field handicaps as there a ton of chances for the least expected horses to come barrelling up the hill so I usually play the odds instead of the horse.
Win Bet - Bad - 6/1
Each Way Selection - Sir Allen - 11/1
5.30pm - National Hunt Chase
Another short price favourite here and quite possibly rightly so. Gaillard Du Mesnil is a very impressive horse. 3 rd in the Irish Grand National and has great Grade 1 form including last year at the festival. Seems the most likely winner to me without the remaining places quite open. I have a few i like here with one being Coolavalla at 20/1. Has a bit to find class-wise but he keeps winning by decent margins and has proven form on soft ground with his last 4 races on soft ground being all wins, unfortunaltely he doesnt fit the trend of the last 10 winners being rated 139 or above but I'm only looking for a place. Another one is Chemical Energy but I worry about the soft ground for him.
Win Bet - Gaillard Du Mesnil - Evens
Each Way Selection - Coolavalla - 20/1