It’s such a shame that nature is dealing these cards to us at the moment, with such little rain falling down. These are unprecedented times and if trainers don’t want to chance their horses, then you have to respect that. The rain will come, and we will see these stars, but there is no point risking them at such an early stage in the season.


The highlight at Newcastle is the Fighting Fifth (14:10). It’s both of their first runs of the season, so they’ll no doubt come forward, but Epatante  is a good horse.

I can't wait to see Constitution Hill  back on a racecourse again, he was electric last season and it’s horses like that, that really get the blood pumping.

It’s a hot trend at the moment, seeing these good, graded horses run carrying top weight in handicaps again, but they’ve been winning or at least going close, and that is because they are, on ratings, the best horses in the race.

Speaking of which, you’d have to side with L’Homme Presse (15:25). He was superb last season and kept improving and his win at Cheltenham was top class. Her horses have come into form over this past week, and he should take some stopping.

Busselton  (15:05, Newbury} is only five, so it’s going to be a tough ask for him to win, but he’s fit, well and likes good ground. They’ve always thought a lot of him and while I don’t think it’s an easy race, it’s not the most competitive renewal I’ve seen.

I’m a big fan of Adam Wedge as a Jockey and I think he won’t be far away on Annsam. They’ll likely go forward and that can be a worthwhile in this race

Peking Rose  (13:55) was a good winner at Aintree last time and the yard continue to fire winners in. She’s only gone up 3lb and while there are some unexposed horses in this race from Skelton and Henderson’s yard, I like that she’s been out and done it and may still be improving.

Pikar  (14:30) won well at Chepstow last time but it’s the way Dan Skelton has campaigned him that has caught my eye. He’s ran in good races without winning which tells you they think a lot of him and I think he’ll continue to keep improving. I’m looking forward to seeing him.

Navan on Sunday

It’s good to see so many runners taking their chances at Navan on Sunday. It looks to be genuine soft ground and now, as a result, we’re seeing bigger fields, which will make the racing more competitive.

The potential star on the show has to be American Mike in the Monksfield. He showed plenty of pace over further last time and I don’t think this drop back in trip will inconvenience him.

It was interesting that Jamie Codd put up Three Card Brag as his charity Bet on the Betway Twitter Space we did last week for the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham in March. He might be tapped for toe here, but he could be one to remember when he goes over further.

The Beginners’ Chase is going to be great viewing race, too. Saint Roi was campaigned as a Champion Hurdle horse last season but his time has come for the larger obstacles.

He’s got to give weight away to Fil D’or, who ran well at Naas in the Fishery Lane over hurdles last time. He’s going over fences and the vibes have been positive from Cullentra.

The Troytown Chase is the big race of the day, I love this race. It’s a proper staying chase and you’ll likely see some of those who finish in the placings in Grand Nationals to come.

School Boy Hours won a good race at Leopardstown last Christmas, so he can win when he’s ready, but he’s got to come back into form. For me though, the form points to Frontal Assault for Jack and Gordon.

He beat Darrens Hope who won a good race last weekend, so the form has been franked and with Gordon’s horses in savage form. It wouldn’t surprise you if they took all of the beating!

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