With all three national hunt meetings having beaten the weather, Paul Jacobs gives his best bets from each of the cards from Wetherby, Sandown Park and Ffos Las below.
I am not a huge fan of this card for betting purposes today and the only wager I am thinking of having is right down the bottom in the 4.25 where ROGER BEANTOWN could well be a bit of value up against the likes of Un Anjou and Last Shot.
Firstly, the Zoe Davison runner is proven around this difficult jumping terrain, the ground certainly won’t prove a problem and thirdly he is lightly enough raced to presume there is still more improvement left in the tank. The other positive, unlike many of his rivals, is that he stays a bit further than this stiff two miles which will obviously be a major plus today. Un Anjou ran well on a similar surface last time out, but isn’t a regular winner, so despite top weight Last Shot could prove a bigger danger.
The Welsh Champion Hurdle at 2.05 is probably the last chance that SAPHIR DU RHEU will have to race in handicap company and Paul NIcholls is taking full advantage of the five pound claim of Harry Derham off the top weight. There is little doubt in my mind that he has the class to a mark of 18, less his rider's claim, and the only slight negative at the back of my mind is the fact that the Lanzarote Hurdle only came three weeks ago. I had aniticpated this youngster would run in the World Hurdle had Big Buck's not made a satisfactory comeback in the Cleeve, that is how good I think he is, so if he turns up here in A1 condition he should beat the likes of Whisper and the very one paced Granbd VIsion.
I'm going to leave leave aside the West Wales National at 2.45 as I simply cannot find an edge in the race and instead I will be having a lumpy each-way wager on MAKETHE MOSTOFNOW in the handicap hurdle at 3.45.
The nine-year-old is just an ordinary handicapper on other tracks, but for some reason, and it seems to apply to so many other horses, Ffos Las seems to suit him perfectly. His form figures here are 1111F243 so it is almost an automatic acton to ignore his last run when a tailed off ninth behind Awaywiththegreys at Chepstow last time out. Furthermore his handicap mark of 124, less Conor Ring's claim, is decent and I can see him slugging this one out and seeing off the attentions of both Kayf Moss and Whisky Yankee.
I have always thought that this track is more of a specilaist arena than many people think which is one of the reasons why I think the PALYPSO DE CREEK is a solid wager to follow up in his success in the hunter chase event at 3.55, a race he won in good style last season. Last time out he was far from disgraced behind Rebel de Maquis at Cheltenham, just touched off, and his assured jumping is a huge asset around here.
There are a few rivals that could trouble him on their best previous form, but Always Right cannot be trusted nowadays to run to his mark, so the strong staying Doctor Kingsley could be the one to be on despite his advancing years.