THERE’S a hint of the calm after the storm about today . . . but one of the rides I’m looking forward to most this week goes in the sixth.
From a full book of rides on Day One, I’m down to three this afternoon — but there is a VERY nice one in there.
The Boodles Juvenile Hurdle is one of the trickiest races of the Festival and there will be doubtless be plots galore.
But GALAHAD QUEST (4.50) is a serious horse, very, very unexposed and looks a great price for anyone fancying an each-way dabble.
He has only had three runs in his life but was an impressive winner of a Grade 2 here last time and the handicapper hasn’t been too harsh.
Yes, of course he isn’t the most experienced, but he is also far from the most exposed.
Although it’s a seriously competitive race, I can see him running very well.
MOSSY FEN (1.30) is a beautiful horse, although whether he is quite up to winning a race like the Ballymore is up for debate.
It’s the oldest cliché in the book, but whatever he does over hurdles will be a bonus, because his real future will lie over fences. But I can’t stress enough what a looker he is!
I’d advise everyone to get down to the paddock and feast their eyes on him before the race.
He’s definitely one to keep on the right side of, but probably more for the future than this afternoon because the Irish banker Envoi Allen looks very, very good in the opener.
I finish up on ONE TRUE KING (5.30) in the bumper, and that race is always something of a minefield.
The Irish tend to have one or two up their sleeve for this and obviously we don’t hear all the whispers, which makes it even more difficult.
What I can say, though, is that whatever he does today, he is certainly the type to win plenty of novice hurdles in the future.
The biggest disappointment about today is the news that Altior is out of the Champion Chase, because that looked like being one of THE races of the week.
It now looks something of a two-horse shoot-out between Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi, and I’ll have to side with the English!
Barry Geraghty gets on so well with Defi Du Seuil and while it won’t be easy, I think he can just about edge it.
While the Champion Chase may be the big race of the day, there will be just as much interest in the cross-country chase, because of a certain Tiger Roll.
And I have to say I reckon that even though he’s such a short price, he must be one of the biggest certainties of the week — I just can’t see him getting beaten.
You’ll probably hear the biggest cheer of the day if he does win and then all roads will lead to Aintree again for the hat-trick bid.
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