There are two excellent meetings over the jumps tomorrow and I will start at Cheltenham who stage their Festival Trials day.
In the 1.00 there will be plenty of support for Aigle D’Or who was an impressive winner at Lingfield on his UK debut. He has form on the flat on various types of going and he looks the one to beat here. There are viable alternatives though. Alan King’s Evelith Echo has been running well and his 4th behind the useful Song of Songs at Kempton was a decent effort. He tackles a longer trip here and that should be in his favour. The Howard Johnson trained Marleybow puts his 100% record on the line and is certainly another for the short list. Junior won twice on the flat last season over 2 miles and this trip over hurdles is likely to suit him. He looks sure to win races over hurdles. The front running mare Helen’s Vision was a beaten favourite last time but if you ignore that run her earlier form was very solid.
This is by no means a walk over for the likely favourite.
In the 1.35 I am hoping for an improved run from Mister Potter who drops back in trip.
Moving on to the 2.10 the two runners from our list to follow, New Little Bric and Private Be have chances. New Little Bric has been one of the few disappointments from the Paul Nicholls yard this term. I see that he is fitted with first time blinkers here which may have the desired effect. Private Be is returning to Cheltenham for the third time this season. On his first visit he was going well when he was brought down but he then ran disappointingly in the Paddy Power. He had had a break since then. The main danger may come from Maljimar who was 4th last time out over an inadequate trip. Preacher Boy could be worth a small each interest although he is probably better over further.
Simon ran a blinder here when runner up in December and he is my selection for the 2.40.
Franchoek, Tatenen and Serabad occupied the first three places at Chepstow last month finishing in that order. They meet again in the 3.15 and should again be involved in the finish. Franchoek looks a tough battler and may just prevail again.
The Cleeve Hurdle at 3.50 looks to be between Blazing Bailey and Inglis Drever. Blazing Bailey got the better of the argument in this race last season and may just have the edge again.
There is also a top class card at Doncaster. In the opener there at 12.20 Khyber Kim will take some beating. He impressed many good judges when beating some useful sorts on his hurdles debut at Newbury. He was a classy performer on the flat and could be something special. Keith Reveley’s Tazbar could give him most to do.
Theatre Girl didn’t go down without a fight against Khyber Kim at Newbury and before that she had some decent form in bumpers. She would be my each way selection in the 1.55 where both Nicky Henderson’s runners warrant respect.
All Star is my selection in the 2.30 with Echo Point an each way alternative. In the 3.00 I would be inclined to take a chance with a couple of outsiders, Dusky Warbler and Henry’s Pride.
One Gulp has done nothing wrong this season and should go close in the 3.30 while there is a good word for Ange ou Demon in the 4.05.