Bit of a lottery in this handicap, but I’m going to have a punt on CANYON CITY  .

Neil King’s six-year-old has decent form (112-2031) coming into the race and was only a neck behind Erick Le Rouge at Kempton in February at a big price.

A tidy win last time out at Fakenham over 2m 7f suggests he could have a nice each-way chance.


I fully expect ANGELS BREATH  to bounce back here.

He was brilliant on debut in the Grade 2 Supreme Trial but disappointed when only manage seventh at the Cheltenham Festival.

The step up in trip should suit and he looks the one to beat.


More Grade 1 action up next and I’m willing to give LALOR  another go.

He just didn’t settle in the Arkle and was pulled up by Richard Johnson.

However, he absolutely loves it here having won the Bumper two years ago as a 33/1 shot followed by the Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle 12 months later.

Kayley Woollacott hasn’t lost any faith in him and neither have I.


APPLE'S JADE  was another who disappointed at Cheltenham but, much like Lalor, I expect her to make amends.

She had a tremendous season going into the Champion Hurdle and, having seen Supasundae's win on Thursday, her 16-length victory over him in the Irish Champion Hurdle looks like emphatic form.

The seven-year-old won her first Grade 1 here in 2016 following a 41-length victory in the 4YO Juvenile Hurdle, so I’m hoping she can add to that tally here.


Another Betway-sponsored race next, and another which looks very tough to call.

THEATRE TERRITORY  ran well in the Topham last year when third behind Ultragold and finished only a length behind Ibis Du Rheu at the Cheltenham November meeting.

He’s really well-handicapped at 10-8 and also has Sam Waley-Cohen’s 3lb claim on board.


It’s the big one now and with Betway offering six places, there’s two big each-way chances I like.

My main one is the recently-purchased DON POLI  .

He hasn’t won since his Lexus Chase triumph in December 2015 but does have a victory on this course when beating 2015 Grand National winner Many Clouds.

He has had a taste of these fences from the Becher Chase in December and, although the 10-year-old may not be the horse he once was, I think he has a big chance of placing here.

The other one I like is A TOI PHIL  .

He's a nine-year-old with bags of experience but is winless since last January when he achieved Grade 3 glory ahead of American Tom.

He travelled fairly well in the Pertemps last time out which was the exact same route that Pineau De Re took before winning the National in 2014, so maybe lightning could strike twice.


We round off the meeting with the amateurs' handicap where I’m drawn to two.

The first is CHIEF JUSTICE  for Gordon Elliot and Jamie Codd.

I thought he was going to be a Triumph Hurdle contender when he won the Grade 3 Juvenile Hurdle ahead of Coeur Sublime, who went on to finish second at the Festival.

He was never in contention in the Fred Winter but I’m hoping the drop in class should get him back to winning ways.

The other one that stands out is LORD YEATS  .

He's got solid form coming into the race (2121) with a routine win at Hexham last time out, and wasn’t too far behind Encore Champs at Kelso.

Thomas Dowson, who usually rides Lady Buttons, has his 3lb claim to help the handicap and I think he’ll be right up there.




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