I ended up day two  minus half a point but when you add my ante post bets [Ballycasey 1 pt and Sea The World 2 pts] that brings it up to minus 3.5 at end of play . The Champagne Fever bet is returned as he was a non runner on the day. That leaves us plus 25 at the meeting. I am delighted for my colleague Tom Malone who was responsible for Dodging Bullets and Qualando. Well done to you Tom, a marvellous feat.  Don Poli lived up to my hype and is some chaser. Gold Cup written all over him next year.

Day 3 :

1 30 JLT Chase.

Apache Stronghold : Impressive last day beating Valseur Lido . Decent chance.

Colour Squadron : Perennial placer but hates winning.

Irish Saint : Up against it.

Ptit Zig : Smart and will have his supporters who say he can beat the Irish.

Splash Of Ginge : Outclassed.

Tango De Juilley : Will need a huge improvement to figure.

The Tullow Tank : Now tongue tied and cheekpieced and I cannot see him winning.

Valseur Lido : Very classy sort who will go very close for all conquering Willie. Needs to turn it around with Apache Stronghold before dealing with Vautour.

Vautour : As high a class horse as you will find at this stage of his career. I have napped him on several occasions and on good ground he is near nigh unbeatable.

Verdict : Apache Stronghold and Valseur Lido are very good horses and would be favourite in most years but this is not a normal renewal. The mighty VAUTOUR lies in wait and but for a bit of misfortune at Christmas on ground he hated he would be unbeaten on these shores. I hope it does not rain as he loves to hear his feet rattle and that being the case I hope he will be another one of my bankers to win.  4  points win and nap at 7/4  with PP.

2 05  Pertemps Hurdle.

The following are the ones I will take against the field of 24 runners, Dawalan, Brother Brian,The Tourard Man and Edeymi. I feel the winner will come from the latter two and as I cannot split them I will have a 1 point win on each, THE TOURARD MAN 25/1 and EDEYMI at 8/1.

2 40 Ryanair Chase.

This is some contest and the connections of Don Cossack must be kicking themselves they did not go for the Champion Chase but Michael O’ Leary wanted to win his own race even more so and I suppose it is understandable. Don Cossack is a bit of a win machine and is the best horse in this event but he will have to navigate his way through a crowd here and he did fall when cruising in the RSA last year in another big field. He is a very sound jumper normally so hopefully lightning does not strike twice. There are dangers of course , the field size, Foxrock, Hidden Cyclone, Taquin Du Seuil and more.

Verdict : DON COSSACK should win this with a clear round. He is another one of my naps of the meeting. 3 points win at 4/1 with PP.

3 20  World Hurdle.

I don’t think this is as open as the betting suggests and have it narrowed down to two but one of them is an each way longshot as he is too big in the betting.

Verdict : SAPHIR DU RHEU is going to be very difficult to beat and sort of towers over the rest of them really and he is well worth a 2 points win at 6/1 with PP. All the experts says the DEDIGOUT must have heavy ground but I am not so sure and therefore I am having  a 1/2 point each way at 25/1 with PP.

4 00 .2 mile Chase.

A  nightmare of a contest but BURN AND TURN is seriously well in of 10-10. He is best fresh on good ground and a stiff undulating track and his second to Road To Riches in the Galway Plate is as good as any other form on offer.

Verdict : One point win on BURN AND TURN at 16/1 with PP.

4 40 Kim Muir Chase.

Verdict : Everything is in line for HEANEY to run big. 1 pt win at 16/1 PP.


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