This is always one of the most fascinating races at the festival. THe new heros will be runnung in this, household names of the future. Let’s hope we are as lucky as last year.

I have it narrowed down to three and we will back two.

Patrick Mullins told us that one thing is for sure, he will be cantering on his horse Union Dues on the descent to the straight. He is unsure what will happen after that but being one of Willie’s he will stay on strongly. I got the distinct impression he wanted to tell us more but he left it at that . Serious chance but I am just going to pass him over.

One of the few bumper newcomers to really excite me this year was MILO MAN when he romped to a 25 length victory at Taunton 34 days ago. He wasn’t up against a whole lot in an 8 runner field but he couldn’t have done it any easier. He should be able to go the guaranteed crazy pace and he definitely has the required stamina to get up the hill. Big chance.

My second choice is LE VENT D’ANTAN. They say it is almost impossible for an immature 4 y old to win this event. They are normally right. The brilliant Cue Card was the first in a long time to do it and he is the exception to most rules. However I think Wexford woman Liz Doyle has the real deal in her flat French bred young gelding. He is not your typical immature 4 year old. He seems a very strong type through the shoulder and a serious looking top line on him. He toyed with a substandard field of his own age group at Leopardstown on his debut over Christmas but he really looked professional to my eye and I am almost certain that he has an explosive turn of foot. We will find out today.

Before I give the bet I might just say that I will be surprised if DAVID PIPE and JOHN JOE O’ NEILL leave this years festival without registering success.

Champion Bumper bets.. 1 pt win on LE VENT D’ANTAN at 8/1 with PP and 1 pt on MILO MAN at 20/1 with PP also.


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