Day 1 coming up, and I’m off early tomorrow for the full four days as usual. My impression of the card;
I’m going to sit this one out. Dunguib is a fantastic prospect but his jumping might let him down. I don’t want to back him at short odds and I don’t want to be betting that he makes a mistake. One to savour.
One of my favourite races, but generally tough to call. It looks a pretty good race this year with several likely sorts lining up. I did an analysis of this race last year;
The analysis suggested; (i) It’s not a good race for outsiders; (ii) 8yos have a terrible record; (iii) hurdle form is a better indicator than chase form.
The last point is the most interesting – novice chases are typically run at slow pace but the Arkle is more gruelling. It’s won by the best horse that puts in a clearish round, and some of the better hurdlers might prefer bowling along a little faster. The analysis doesn’t provide a clear selection – the best hurdlers are all rather old. On balance I’ll go for Somersby who is a fair fit.
William Hill Trophy
It’s a bit of a pinsticker job. I’ll take a punt on New Alco who has the necessary talent but needs to overcome a 2 year absence.
The Champion Hurdle
I’ve been chewing on this for a long while, and I’ve decided I’m going with Khyber Kim. It’s often the case the the Champion is won by a horse who suddenly stepped up his form and had a big year, and KK fits the bill for that – until this year he wasn’t in the class of most of these, but he seems to be now. He might be a very special animal – he’s my nap for the day.
The Cross Country Chase and the Mare’s Hurdle
I’ll go with Nina Carberry and Garde Champetre in the 4:00. In the last I’ll side with Quevega as I did last year – she’s classy and if Willie Mullins thinks he has her back then I’m not going to argue. There aren’t many mares that could get past her.