Well two 2nd’s on our first day of The Festival and I have to be honest and say that as they turned in in the Supreme Novices I felt that ABACADABRAS had the race, but fair play to Shishkin who used all his pace to narrow the gap bit by bit and just get his nose ahead at the line. A great race and one where you come away just having known you got beaten. We then took on Notebook in the Arkle with Fakir D’oudairies and again as they turned in, our main rival was being pushed along and I felt confident we could take the race, only for a 16/1 shot to spoil the party. As for my bigger priced bet on Pentland Hills, the overnight rain did not aid his cause and he never really got involved with the favourite Epatante a worthy winner of the Champion Hurdle.
On to Day 2 and a couple that I really like, one short price and one big price.
Day 2 – Champion Chase Day
2:50 Coral Cup Hurdle – 2m 5f
A 26 runner handicap is probably not where you would expect to find an angle, but with BACHASSON in this race, I think there is a real opportunity for some value. At 20/1 I think he is a cracking each way bet for this today and for good reason. He looked a real star in the making when winning his first four races for the stable in 2015 and he rose to a mark of 151 over hurdles before swithing to fences to continue his progression to a chase mark of 159 and even an entry in the Gold Cup in 2018. He then had a couple of runs before a long break off the track, only to reappear at Navan in the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle and show he had lost none of his talent, finishing ahead of the favourite Kilfenora and behind Penhill in 3rd. He loved the heavy ground that day and kept going well, for his first race back and to be on a mark of only 148 for this race, he has to be one for the shortlist and can go close at a big price.
RP TIP: 1pt each way at 20/1
VIDEO – Using Race Trends On Day 2
3:30 Champion Chase – 2m
A small field and with the loss of Altior yesterday, it is difficult to get away from my bet of the week which is DEFI DU SEUIL who is nailed on for this race and a horse I had backed Antepost already for a large bet, but now will lump on again. He is bang in form and the way he beat Un De Sceaux in the Tingle Creek and then again in the Clarence House at Ascot, there is little in the field to worry him here other than Chacun Pour Soi who beat him at Punchestown on far better ground. Soft and heavy conditions are perfect for Defi and he will put that defeat behind him here today.
RP TIP: 5 pts to win at 5/4