There are competitive jumps meetings at 3 venues in the UK tomorrow weather permitting.
Starting in the 1.30 at Cheltenham tomorrow I have a short list of 3 who will all be suited by plenty of give in the ground. Den of Iniquity, Ernst Blofeld and Midnight Chase all look fair value. Ernst Blofeld comes into the race in good form and will not lack for stamina. He is the selection.
Exmoor Ranger is probably going to run at Doncaster but if he does go to Cheltenham he would be my selection in the 2.05.
Inchidaly Rock is unbeaten in two starts over fences and is a course and distance winner so is one for any shortlist in the 2.35. He is taking on more experiences rivals here and it is possible that he is better going right handed. Madison Du Berlais is a class act on his day but has struggled at Cheltenham in the past. These were the two I most fancied but they have enough question marks about them for me to shy away from a bet.
The 3.10 is quite a hot race. General Miller won well at Cheltenham on his hurdles debut after winning twice in bumpers while Fiulin is an interesting recruit from the flat. Royal Charm though looks one of the best young prospects in the Paul Nicholls yard and this step up in trip should suit him. He is my selection.
The Cleeve Hurdle at 3.40 is likely to be run at a decent pace so stamina will play an important part. Bouggler is one to consider at a big price while the likes of Katchit and Tidal Bay could not be ruled out, Tidal Bay in particular given the form of the stable. Mr Thriller had looked progressive until beaten by Sentry Duty in a 3 runner race at Cheltenham and now tackles 3 miles for the first time. The Pipe team are in form and Mr Thriller is one to consider but my main fancies are the progressive pair Lie Forrit and Time for Rupert. Time for Rupert won a handicap over course and distance in December on soft ground and is lightly raced. Lie Forrit I another that steps up in class after winning in handicaps but he has proven stamina and acts on soft ground.
Turning to Doncaster and the 1.10 Character Building has his first run since his win in the Kim Muir Chase and his main target will probably be the Grand National. The trip here looks to be on the short side for him and he will probably need the run. Merrydown was a winner at Kelso on soft ground last seaspon. He is a nice type but hasn’t run for 276 days. The percentage call may be Clova Island who is a consistent performer and looks each way value at around 17/2.
The giant Mad Max looks the one to beat in the 1.45. His main rival will probably be another great big horse in the Howard Johnson trained Quwetwo. A real clash of the giants this and a race well worth watching. Mad Max has the benefit of a recent run which may give him the edge.
In the 2.50 The Betchworth Kid, a useful stayer on the flat, looks the one to be on.
Victor Dartnall had a winner today with Giles Cross and I fancy his Exmoor Ranger in the 3.25. Alegralil is 4 from 4 at present having won twice in bumpers and also two hurdle races. He has done everything asked of him so far and will take some stopping in the 4.00.
From the same stable as Alegralil, Alderley Rover is my only selection at Uttoxeter where he runs in the 3.00.
Today’s picture, courtesy of the artist Lisa Miller, is of 2008 Cleeve Hurdle winner Inglis Drever.