For my first selection today we head to Clonmel for a conditions hurdle run over just shy of two miles and four furlongs.
Willie Mullins is represented by three runners here and heading the betting is Aklan, the mount of Ruby Walsh. While the 6yo looks the most likely winner of this contest, his last two runs have not been all that convincing and he does not have all that much in hand on one of the other Mullins runners in this contest. At the prices I would be prepared to look towards the other Mullins runner.
While Aklan has the highest official mark in this contest with a rating of 135, the Gigginstown inmate Killer Crow looked capable of the same mark when winning two starts back. The 6yos official mark is 128 but he looks value for at least another seven pounds and is also in receipt of three pounds from his market rival. With that in mind he offers a bit of each way value at his current odds of around 5/1.
There are probably only two other runners in this that you could give a serious chance to. Western Boy arrives here on the back of a heavy fall over the larger obstacles and I think his main objective today is getting around in one piece. Argocat arrives here after a break of 295 days and will probably need the run although neither can be ruled out with any certainty.
Killer Crow (E/W if 9/2+)
For our next selection we head to Sedgefield for a novice hurdle run over two miles and one furlong.
This looks a race that possibly surrounds the two five year olds at the head of the market and the one that appeals most is Aristo Du Plessis. The James Ewart inmate comes here on the back of an ok run, but it’s his run on his penultimate start at Catterick that reads very well now. The winner of that race has followed up since by winning a Grade 2 contest at Haydock just five days ago. A repeat of that run here could make him very hard to beat.
The selection has most to fear from the Mcain runner Court Dismissed who only has his second hurdles start today. I don’t think the level of form he has shown so far is anywhere near the selection though. The second placed horse in his opening hurdles start has been well beaten twice since. The stable is in decent form at the moment though so he cannot be ruled out.
The horse with the highest official rating here is Come on Sunshine but I think that he looks vulnerable under a double penalty here. The only other runner you could a serious chance to is Chivers as he does receive chunks of weight from all his rivals here. The 4yo will need to improve on what he has shown to date to trouble the market principles.
Aristo Du Plessis (WIN)
For my final selection today we head to Huntingdon for some Listed action over hurdles.
This is a really tight contest where nothing can be ruled out with any degree of certainty. At the head of the market is the Nicky Henderson trained Different Gravey and it is the only mount that Barry Geraghty has today. Unlike two of his market principles here, he does not hold any Cheltenham entries so he may be fully wound up here and won’t be worrying about having a hard race. While it is a concern that he has to concede a small bit of weight to all his rivals here, I think he could be open to the most improvement.
The selection probably has most to fear from Brother Tedd as only two lengths separated them at Cheltenham and the Hobbs runner is weighted to turn the form around. While this track should suit Brother Tedd better, I think it will also suit the Henderson runner but Different Gravey probably looks open to much more improvement. I think it will be the two who fight out the finish here so the forecast cannot be ruled out.
Kylemore Lough arrives here seeking the four timer and has been a wide margin winner on all three starts to date. This however represents a huge rise in class as he has been beating class four and class five horse in all three starts so far. He will need to improve again here and could possibly be flattered by his current mark.
The outsider of the party is A Vos Gardes who has the best part of a stone to find with his three challengers here. He did produce a career best effort on his last start so cannot be ruled out, improving again.
Different Gravey (WIN)