A mare's chase sees Cheltenham festival winner Elimay back in action and is clear to see why she is a very short price favourite with bookies taking no chances. I do think she potentially could be taken on today though.
A combination of a hard season and not all festival winners coming here and backing up there wins at Cheltenham here so far. Only 4 so far have won after winning at Cheltenham festival this year. Although she has won on good ground a while back, The majority of her wins have been on the softer side. At the price she is being offered she is worth taking on.
Daphne Moon was very good at Perth last week the step up in trip really helpful to her. So, it's odd to see her back down at this trip and with only racing last week seems a big ask.
Dolcita would probably need a career best to win this but always dangerous to rule out a 2nd string when Willie Mullins goes double handed in a race.
Selection for me though is Scarlet And Dove she ran with credit in the mares chase and was not far of beating Elimay on that day at Cheltenham by half a length. Scarlet And Dove though was carrying 3 pounds extra compared to Elimay that day. They are level weights this time round. If Scarlet And Dove gets her jumping right at the business end of the race and at level weights this time could play to her advantage. At around 4/1 (At time of writing) I think she just has a lot more value than Elimay while having a genuine chance
SCARLET AND DOVE (WIN)
State Man comes here as a big favourite given how he won the county hurdle which potentially suggest bigger targets could wait in open company next season. Was impressive at the Cheltenham Festival but this will potentially be on the quickest ground he has been on in his relatively short career. That has to be a slight concern.
Kilcruit gets a step up in trip that people believe he needs. Was a long way back in third in the supreme novice hurdle. However, on paper it doesn't appear he will have to face a Jonbon or Constitution Hill like horse today. Deploy The Getaway would need a career best the other Willie Mullins horse of his three hard to see him getting involved on what he has shown so far.
Flame Bearer goes in a Grade 1 for the first time and deserves his shot here. Another who is going up in trip for the first time. But looks the progressive type be interesting to see how he gets on.
My selection though is Three Stripe Life. Who I think has been a model of consistency this season. Has always run his race despite not winning every time. He has been behind Mighty Potter which doesn't look too bad now on form. Twice behind to Sir Gerhard as well this season he has run with real credit and not too far behind these horses either. Especially his last two races considering the form Gordon Elliot yard was in.
Three Stripe Life won at Aintree a few weeks back and given how he has run this season deserved that. He has shown real decent form all season and if State Man or whoever beats Three Stripe Life will know they have been in a race. certainly more battle hardened than a few others perhaps in this race and that gives me more confidence in my selection
THREE STRIPE LIFE (WIN)
written by Luke Tucker