Faugheen
An exciting days racing in-store. The up and coming Paisley Park v Faugheen and a very competitive Ryanair are the highlights.

Yesterday was a tough day, I found some nice +EV positions in the market but some of this weeks profits were given back. A cracking day in store with an excellent Ryanair, Paisley Park v Faugheen and some interesting plots in the Handicaps.

With 4.60 points of profit in the bank, whatever happens I’m still ahead going into what will be a big afternoon for me tomorrow.

13:30|JLT Novices’ Chase

Round three of Lostintranslation v DEFI DU SEUIL kicks off day three. They currently stand at one a piece with the latter winning their last encounter. The pair first met here on New Years Day, with Lostintranslation the victor. In a strange finish to the race Lostintranslation led until two out, was passed by Defi Du Seuil before he battled back to win. Defi Du Seuil looked the winner that day and traded 1.01 in-running.

Sandown was the venue for round two, under a patient ride Defi Du Seuil was able to reverse the form. They now know how to ride this horse and I expect the Sandown form to be upheld. On his second chase start Defi Du Seuil beat Topofthegame, the RSA, winner by three and a half lengths. That form has now been franked twice at the highest level. In a common theme for this crop of novice chasers Topofthegame finished second to La Bague Au Roi ina Kempton Grade One, before yesterday’s victory.

Lostintranslation also brings in form behind La Bague Au Roi, having finished behind her twice. He could’ve beaten her on their first meeting but he walked through the second last when trading at 1.37. The pair did meet again three weeks later though when La Bague Au Roi won by even further.

Kim Bailey U-Turn

Vinndication comes into this having been well supported and sent off favourite in the Sandown race featuring Lostintranslation and Defi Du Seuil. He didn’t jump with his usual zest that day and was ruled out of running in this last week. Kim Bailey changed his mind at the five day declaration stage, so he runs. The drying ground is in his favour, they’ve said the soft going rather than an injury was the reason for his poor showing at Sandown and in a Newbury gallop. Whilst I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win this if he can reproduce his early season form, I have enough doubts to want to pass.

Defi Du Seuil has the best form coming into the race. He should be aided by the strong pace taking him along for a long way and his turn of foot can put this to bed after the last. He’s a previous festival winner after winning The Triumph in 2017. They opted to keep him at this distance instead of going for a weaker looking Arkle, which suggests to me that there could be some money around for him today.

BACK DEFI DU SEUIL @ 4.33

14:50|Ryanair Chase

A cracking Ryanair in which you could make a case for all twelve runners. Footpad heads the market after taking all before him last season. He fell at the last on his seasonal reappearance when looking beaten. This was followed by finishing second to Simply Ned over Christmas. He looked the winner that day, traded 1.01, but couldn’t see it out. With that in mind and him never winning at this sort of distance I can look elsewhere.

Road To Respect lines up after being rerouted from The Gold Cup. He finished a short head second to Bellshill last time out, with The Storyteller back in third. Last seasons Gold Cup fourth began this campaign with a easy sucess in the JNWine where Balko Des Flos and Sub Lieutenant finished a long way behind. He’s the Gigginstown number one here and back down in trip he has to be respected.

The RSA Form

I like the form of last seasons staying novice chasers and that’s where I’m heading here. MONALEE has been called a non-stayer after last years RSA. I don’t see it like that, I believe people are saying that as a way of trying to crab the excellent Presenting Percy performance. Monalee aside that RSA contained this seasons Welsh National winner, a horse that was beaten a nose in a Scottish National and multiple three mile chase winner Black Corton. He beat them all home and wasn’t stopping going to the line. The form has has also been franked by Al Boum Photo who won a Grade One next time out. He would’ve then won a three mile Grade One if Paul Townend hadn’t got confused about the last fence.

Monalee stays three miles, but he’s seen at his best when dictating over this trip. There’s a lot of pace in this race, but if this does turn into a slog I’m confident that out of those on the front end he’ll see it out the best. He’s been the bridesmaid on his previous two Festival visits but he ran into a future Stayers Hurdle winner and The Gold Cup winner favourite.

Monalee finished ahead of Road To Respect, The Storyteller, Balko Des Flos and Coney Island over three miles at Christmas. Back down in trip I fully expect him to hold up that form.

I have doubts over Un Des Sceaux at this trip in soft ground, especially with a strong pace. I don’t think Frodon is good enough unless he gets his exact conditions, which he’s unlikely to get here.

BACK MONALEE @ 5.50

15:30|Stayers’ Hurdle

Paisley Park is the correct favourite for this. He beat the best that England had to offer by twelve lengths in The Cleeve Hurdle. There’s no reason to think that any of those in behind will be able to reverse the form. Therefore I have to look to Ireland if I want to take him on.

Supasundae is a high class hurdler and finished second in this last year. He’s always found one too good at this distance, so I want to be against him. Bacrady’s was staying on well in this last year when he fell at the last and he could be one that outruns his price. The horse for me here is FAUGHEEN. Top two mile hurdlers such as Solwhit and Nichols Canyon have won this recent times. Former Champion Hurdler Annie Power ran an absolute stormer to finish second.

That Punchestown Performance

Faugheen is/was not only a brilliant hurdler but we also know he stays three miles. He’s won a point-to-point over three miles. On his fourth visit to a racecourse he won a three mile Grade Three. At Punchestown last year he smashed Penhill, the reigning Staying Hurdler, by thirteen lengths. Over Christmas he ran over three miles against Apple’s Jade and would’ve served it up to her if not falling at the second last when travelling well.

On what we know Faugheen is the most talented horse in the race, he has the back form and is a previous Festival winner. Paisley Park has the form against the English horses, but it’s not unlikely that Faugheen could’ve won that Cleeve Hurdle by at least twelve lengths.

BACK FAUGHEEN @ 5.50

16:50|Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

No odds-on Willie Mullins favourite for this is a bit of a shock. The form of a lot of the runners in this amounts to nothing. Epatante is the favourite after two odds-on victories against poor horses. There’s a few with better form in the book and I’d look to oppose her at the head of the market.

POSH TRISH has been in excellent form this season winning four of her five starts including two Listed successes. She stays further than this and could get her own way in front. Despite having to concede weight she’ll be difficult to pass up the hill.

Not a strong selection, but with an opposable favourite I’m happy to side with her.

BACK POSH TRISH @ 7.00

£1 Through The Card

  • Defi Du Seuil
  • Sire Du Berlaise
  • Monalee
  • Faugheen
  • Janika
  • Posh Trish
  • Measureofmydreams

£1 7-Fold pays around £150,000