It was a tough day for us yesterday, with only Neverushacon hitting the frame. Jessica Harrington’s week just keeps getting better, and it seems as though anything she runs can win. Baily Cloud was left at the start and after that he faced an uphill battle. Gurteen was desperately disappointing and he is a horse with a lot to prove after yesterday’s poor run. Snow Falcon lost his position at a most inopportune time and he could never land a blow. Bull Ride was hard at work early doors, and he is a horse that needs a trip. Read my thoughts on the Day 4 action below.
|Finian’s Oscar looks a good thing.
The action gets under way with a hunter chase and it is not a race I will be getting involved in.
Mystical Knight looks an intriguing contender here for Rebecca Curtis and man of the moment Jody McGarvey. This 8yo son of Kayf Tara has had just the three starts over fences, and he was last sighted two months ago finishing 3rd behind Rock The Kasbah at Chepstow (23.5f sft).
He is a three time winner under rules, and the form of his Novice Chase win in December suggests he could be well treated on his handicap debut. He races off a mark of 136 today, and the 2nd and 3rd from that Chepstow race have won races since. He has p2p form on decent ground, a fast run race should suit and at odds of 22/1 he is the each way selection.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: MYSTICAL KNIGHT E/W @ 22/1
When I looked through the card last night I couldn’t believe that Padraig’s Joy was as big as 33/1
for this 2m 5f handicap chase. David Harry Kelly’s 9yo son of Vinnie Roe went very close in this race last season off a mark of 120, and she returns for a repeat bid off a pound lower.
She was beaten just half a length that day, and just like this year she was returning from a few months off. She has gone close on her last two runs back from similar breaks, so the lack of a recent run is not a worry. The 33s is gone, but she still looks overpriced at 20s in what looks a wide open race.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: PADRAIG’S JOY E/W @ 20/1
If ever a horse deserved to win a big one it is My Tent Or Yours, and I think today could be the day for Nicky Henderson’s 10yo. He isn’t getting any younger, obviously, but he ran massive races at both Aintree and Cheltenham behind the classy Buveur D’Air, and there is nothing as good as him in this race today.
Labaik would be a danger if consenting to jump off, but you would have to be bonkers to back him. Brain Power was a flop at Cheltenham and he has it to prove at this level. Arctic Fire is another tricky customer, so by a process of elimination My Tent Or Yours looks the most likely winner. He can be backed at 7/1 and he is the NAP of the day.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: MY TENT OR YOURS @ 7/1 NAP
It is impossible to look past the favourite Finian’s Oscar here. Colin Tizzard has his string in fine fettle, and this 5yo son of Oscar showed he is the real deal with a commanding win at Aintree last time (20f gd). He swerved Cheltenham due to a minor issue, so he comes here fresher than most.
This horse is unbeaten under rules, with four hurdle runs resulting in four victories. He has won on ground ranging from good to soft, so underfoot conditions at Punchestown shouldn’t be a worry. The home challenge doesn’t look all that strong for this 20f Grade 1, and at odds of 15/8 Finian’s Oscar is a confident selection.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: FINIAN’S OSCAR @ 15/8 NB
One From Donny
I have no strong opinion on the final three races, but there is one in the fillies’ handicap at Doncaster at 17.05 that I think could be worth chancing at a big price. Thorntoun Lady has been a very frustrating horse to follow in recent times, and she has been running okay without threatening a win on the all weather during the winter.
However, Jim Goldie has his string in much better form now, and this 7yo daughter of Henrythenavigator could be dangerous back from a break. Goldie has had two winners from his last five runners, and this mare has gone well fresh before. She was beaten narrowly in a maiden here back in her early days, so she handles the track and she has been handed a decent draw in stall 11. She is 14lb below her last winning mark, and if she gets a strong pace to aim at she could spring a surprise at odds of 28/1 with Paddy Power.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: 17.05 DONCASTER-THORNTOUN LADY E/W 28/1