The BIG race of today is the Queen Mother Champion Chase….

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What an opening day with Marine Nationale beating Fav, Facile Vega in the Supreme, El Fabiolo having a real tussle with Jonbon in the Arkle, Honeysuckle ending her career winning the Mares’ Hurdle & the Machine Constitution Hill landing the Champion Hurdle by 9 lengths!. Hopefully today is no exception with 4 Grade 1 races, including the Ballymore, Browns Advisory, the QM Champion Chase & NHF Champion Bumper! Who will be victorious?

Rich, Jamie & Neil have their picks for the day, so let’s get cracking…

Rich –

1.30 Ballymore Novice Hurdle – Grade 1 – 4yo+ – 2m 5f…

Hermes Allen – Poliglote X Une Destine 6yo gelding.
Made his race course debut in October 22, in a Class 4 Maiden Hurdle at Stratford over 2m 6f beating Theatre Man by 27 lengths & was quickly stepped up in to Grade 2 company in November, when heading this course in the Hyde Novice Hurdle, ran over C&D. He won by 9 lengths from Music Drive. His last run was in the 2m 4f Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury in December, beating You Wear It Well by 4 & 3/4 lengths.

The DANGER is likely to come from 1 of the 4 Willie Mullins runners & as Jamie, has noted, IMPARE ET PASSE, unbeaten in 2 starts & steps up in Grade & Trip

4.50 Grand Annual Handicap Chase – 1m 7f 199yds…

Dads Lad – Eliot X Little Jess 8yo gelding.
Has 3 wins from 4 chase starts, with 1 win over C&D, which came in a Class 2 Handicap Chase back in October, winning by 3/4’s of a length from Effernock Fizz, back in 3rd was Editeur Du Gite, who has since won the Clarence House, beating Edwardstone & Energumene (Ran at this Course). His last run was also at this course over Hurdles in the Class 1 Greatwood Handicap, when finishing 9th over 2m 87yds. – EACH WAY

Others I noted today are –
2.50 – Fil Dor & HMS Seahorse – both EW

Jamie –

1:30 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (G1)  

Selection: Impaire Et Passe  

Irish trained horses have won 8 of the past 10 editions of the Ballymore and that trend looks likely to continue. I have had my eye on the Willie Mullins trained Impaire Et Passe since he bolted up in his maiden hurdle at Naas just before Christmas. Having justified his short odds at Naas Impaire Et Passe was sent to Punchestown for the Moscow Flyer Novices’ Hurdle, a race Mullins has used to springboard many of his top novice hurdlers en route to Cheltenham. Despite the drop to a sharp 2m from the Naas 2m 3f Impaire Et Passe won comfortably in what was not a great race for the grade but it was still a good prep for today’s assignment. With the ground set to suit and the Mullins team sounding confident about his chances, I think he will take a lot of beating as more improvement from this lightly raced 5yo is likely. Impaire Et Passe is my nap of the week.  

2:50 – Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle  

Selection: Benson

The 26-runner handicap hurdle over 2m 5f is one of the toughest minefields of the week but I am going to put one up that I hope will find you some each way value. Sandy Thompson’s 8yo Benson is in the form of his life at present and at a double figure price I can’t ignore his each way claims. Benson’s form figures of 22211 read well and he has got better with every run. I fancied him to run a big race in the Morebattle Hurdle last time out at Kelso, he was given a peach by Ryan Mania to stay on well from the rear of the field to win cosily enough in the end. Other positives for Benson is his experience of racing in big fields I think this son of Beat Hollow is still relatively well handicapped off 11-2. With the ground conditions set to suit him well Benson is primed for another big effort and this race should set up well for a strong finisher. Once again check out what bookmakers are offering extra places and how many.  

*Each way advised*

Neil –

2.10, Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, Grade 1, 3m.

This Wednesday card has some very tough races to solve for sure, so much so i was half thinking about chucking in a couple of Huntingdon selections instead!

One race which is always red hot is the 3m chase for the novices, in effect it’s the Gold Cup for juniors and this looks a fairly decent renewal although it’s a pity that the home side could only field three runners in it.

In it I’m plumping for dual festival winner Sir Gerhard for the Willie Mullins yard to make it three festivals in a row here, the 2021 Bumper and 2022 Ballymore winner had had a quiet start to his chasing campaign with only a three runner beginners chase win at Gowran Park to his name.

In the last two seasons after winning at the Festival he’s then gone on to flop at Punchestown so with that in mind I’m going for him to do the business here this afternoon.

2.50, Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle, 2m5f.

A race with a field size only slightly bigger than the number of BBC football reporters who amazingly all found that for some reason they had other engagements last Saturday and Sunday afternoon!

Quite often it can be good to have experience in big field races so your horse can be a bit turfwise when it comes to weaving through traffic and dodging others when making an important move.

One horse who I like is Run For Oscar who would be an appropriate winners seeing as this race comes a few days after the big Hollywood event, Charles Byrne has a useful dual purpose type here who bagged the Cesarewitch at Newmarket back in October then ran in two high quality hurdle races at Haydock and Punchestown finishing third in both of those respectively.

Like many he could prove to be a plot job and the 2m5f trip should suit him, he’s one I’ll be having a few pennies on for sure.

Thanks for popping by, we really do appreciate it. Everyone involved with the blogs work hard to put this together..

All the Best – AOLR Team


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