12.55 – Farmers Friend Novices’ Hurdle
The opener should go the way of INSURRECTION, who was last seen finishing a creditable second in a Grade 2 race. This is a significant drop in grade, and his form looks superior to what Lucky Place has achieved, so he should be a nice winner for the team of Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden.
13.25 – Blackdown Motor Company Maiden Hurdle
GOONHILLY has shown useful form in bumpers and over hurdles, and he only found one too good at Aintree last time. He is a solid option to at least fill the frame. TUTTI QUANTI shaped well on his hurdling bow when runner-up in France and is a major player for a yard who has won the last two renewals of this race.
Tips: GOONHILLY, TUTTI QUANTI
13.55 – Blackdown Motor Company Maiden Hurdle
Evan Williams knows how to get one ready on debut, and THE GYPSY DAVEY is sure to be popular given his pedigree. He could pose a serious threat in what is a wide-open race. LHEBAYEB won three times on the flat last year and has improved in each of her two starts over timber, so she can be shortlisted.
Tips: THE GYPSY DAVEY, LHEBAYEB
14.25 – Major Denis Burton Royal Welsh Memorial Novices’ Handicap Chase
KEEP RUNNING is 4Ib better off for his ½-length second behind the re-opposing Dr T J Eckleburg when the pair met at Ludlow and is fancied to reverse that form under another positive ride. I will also include EXTRAORDINARY MAN, who will receive a lot of weight from the field, and a top-class jockey has been booked to ride.
Tips: KEEP RUNNING, EXTRAORDINARY MAN
15.00 – Stables Business Park Handicap Hurdle
VICKI VALE is a course winner who ran a good race when third at Aintree last time. This is an easier race, so she’s surely going to be competitive. MR FREEDOM was running well last time before he unseated his rider, and this four-time winner from last season should be in the mix with conditions to suit.
Tips: VICKI VALE, MR FREEDOM
15.30 – Geoffrey Bosley ‘Tally Ho’ Open Hunters’ Chase
You will struggle to find a more consistent hunter-chaser than SHANTOU FLYER, who has placed at multiple Cheltenham Festivals and, having won very impressively at Stratford the last time he was seen under rules, is the one they all have to beat. REGATTA DE BLANC is unbeaten in three starts in point-to-points and is of serious interest in her rules debut.
Tips: SHANTOU FLYER, REGATTA DE BLANC