Anyone that has seen my selections for a while will not be surprised that in going with Tatenen here. I’ve selected him both times he won on this course and at decent prices each time. He is a powerful traveller on his day and is only 1lb higher than his great win over a shorter trip here last year. The ground is a bit of a worry, but he has some decent soft ground form in his earlier days. We will know our fate early here as if he is jumping for fun and stretching the field out from the start we could be on to a good thing.
2 Points win 8/1 Various
Across the Bay sticks out here as the 2nd highest rated in the race with very good soft ground form and good form this year. He is possibly a bit of value after understandably not staying in the Welsh National with a big weight. This should be far better race for him and 10/1 looks a few points too big, I have him more of a 6.1 shot here.
2 Points win 10/1 Stan James
I think Cue Card has found an ideal Grade 1 chance. He won’t have to be held up as much as he was in the King George which wreaked his jumping and although he would be better on a better surface, I think he should be a shorter price favourite here. Captain Chris ran a great race in the King George but was all out and didn’t travel as well are Cue Card for most of the way. Finians Rainbow and Gizao really like better ground and haven’t shown anything on Soft. It all adds up to 11/4 looking value and I can resist a decent bet at that price.
4 Points win 11/4 Various
Vic Venturi has numerous times in the past come back from poor runs to race above expectations, particularly in the Bet365 Gold Cup behind Tidal Bay of a mark of 137 only 11 months ago. If his last run has put him right he could well get competitive here getting weight form some of the principals and with a good claimer up. 24 on Betfair looks a decent price
1 Point win 24 Betfair
Neptune Equester has some good winning for over c&d and had a nice run out win for a seasonal opener in a hurdles race on boxing day. He could be ready for a decent performance here today and at 22/1 he looks the value of the race. He should handle the ground and trip and hasa decent looking racing weight.
1 Point ew 22/1 Bet Victor & Stan James