It will once again be a joy to see the great Sprinter Sacre in action. The Queen Mother
Champion Chase winner will go off at prohibitive odds for the
working man, although the presence of Ryanair Chase victor Cue Card
might just make him a bit more value and it will be fascinating to see how
Colin Tizzard’s charge will fare.
Let’s not forget Flemenstar, a high class Irish raider who bypassed Cheltenham for this and will be a major player.
We’re passing that race up as a betting medium, however, and instead we’ll
take our chances in the John Smith’s Topham Chase (3:40pm).
This is always a hugely competitive event and gives a chance to those
whose stamina won’t see out the Grand National trip to have a go at those
big spruce fences.
This year’s renewal is no different. Little Josh is a course and distance
winner with claims again today, but the ground may be quicker than ideal for
him. Chance Du Roy looks well treated on his running with Fistral Beach,
when the pair finished second and third in this race 12 months ago.
Nonetheless, Philip Hobbs’s runners are not firing on all cylinders right now
and we will take the Paul Nicholls-trained Fistral Beach to win it.
The nine-year-old goes particularly well fresh and Nicholls has saved him
for this day since he chased home Always Waining last year. He jumps well
and despite Ruby Walsh preferring the mount on There’s No Panic, our
selection still looks good each-way value.