It looks as though racing could be badly affected by the weather this weekend, so let’s hope all inspections are passed with the horses’ and riders’ safety being paramount.

Sunday at Navan

Most of the attention in the Boyne Hurdle (13:50) is going to be on Tiger Roll in his first run back this season in his quest to become the first horse to win the Grand National three years in a row. However, I think the mare at the bottom, Magic Of Light , has been overlooked and could be a cracking each-way bet.

She loves travelling and often comes alive when she’s been over to England and, this season, you could argue she’s been in the best form of her career. Jessie Harrington loves her, and she could well run into a place.

It will be interesting to see Ballyadam  when he runs in the Bumper (17:05), too.

There was a lot of talk about him when he won his point at Portrush for Colin McKeever and he has had a big-money move to Gordon Elliot’s yard since. He’s now running for the same connections of last year’s Champion Bumper winner, Envoi Allen, so I’m intrigued to see how he turns out.


The Ascot Chase (15:35) is the highlight on the card in Berkshire, and it’s hard to look past Cyrname , isn’t it?

If he reproduces his run from this race last year then he’ll win this as he wants. As the highest-rated chaser in the country, he simply has to be himself to notch another victory.

That race he had against Altior obviously took more out of him than it first appeared, as he wasn’t himself at Kempton Park in the King George, but, back on his ‘home course’, I hope to see him back to winning ways.


If Haydock goes ahead, then the race of the day looks to be the Rendelsham Hurdle (14:05).

With Robbie Power going over to ride West Approach – I think that’s a tip in itself.

He’s had a good season over fences so far and, while he was disappointing in the Welsh National last time, it could have just been one race too many in a short period of time for him. He’s got class on his day and I think it’s a wise move to go back over hurdles.

All the conditions will be in his favour and he’s getting weight from The Worlds End, too. He was second behind Paisley Park in the Cleeve Hurdle last season, so he wasn’t far off the best of them over hurdles.


The Betway Kingwell Hurdle (14:45) is undoubtedly the best race on the card at Wincanton, and I think Paul Nicholls is going to continue his red-hot form with Quel Destin , who won the Betway Contenders Hurdle at Sandown Park two weeks ago.

He’s fit and well and, in a race that has cut up, I think another good opportunity has presented itself to him. He loves soft ground and it’s a lovely ride for James Bowen to pick up.

Gowran Park

The Red Mills Hurdle (13:44) has what some would call a surprise runner after Cilaos Emery , who has been running over fences, was declared.

I think this could end up being a very shrewd move and would be a good stepping stone to a Championship race at the Festival.

If he wins and wins well, I could see his connections supplementing him for the Champion Hurdle, in what is an open-looking year. He is also entered in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, so could go back over fences, too.

The options are open, but he’d have to pass this test with flying colours first, and I think he will do just that.


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