The 1.50pm is a spicy, four runner Novice Chase, where all four are exciting prospects – the vote in this one though, goes to North Hill Harvey after his defeat of Sceau Royal here last time.
Softer ground will pose no problems to him, he beat Modus at this fixture last year and Dan Skelton went on record after his most recent victory saying the horse would have more racing this season and is the sort who’d thrive for being taken to the races more often.
He has to concede a penalty to two very useful horses here in River Wylde and Capitaine, but he’s a strapping, powerful horse and I don’t see that being a major issue.
It might just be that Cloudy Dream missing yesterday’s Gold Cup, owing to a clerical error, was the best thing to have ever happened to the horse because I suspect his stamina would have been sorely tested. I think a strongly run two miles in this sort of ground might see him in a better light and I quite fancy him to win this.
Obviously Fox Norton is going to be an extremely tough nut to crack, but he’s also going to be an extremely short price and I don’t think Cloudy Dream is too far behind him on what the two horses have already achieved – I also think he’s got the potential to improve a tiny bit more. The presence of Special Tiara in the race will ensure that a premium is placed on slick jumping and smooth travelling, and Cloudy Dream has both those attributes in spades.
The Greatwood Hurdle is far from a straightforward puzzle to figure, but the pin has landed on Mohaayed, who is not short of a bit of speed and ran some fine races in level weights company last season – he could be a pretty well handicapped horse (admittedly, a comment which applies to a number of these) and his Trainer is very good at getting them prepared for this type of race.
There’s been lots of chat about the mare, Dame De Compagnie, in the Supreme Trial but just looking at these early prices, I think there’s more value to be had out of Slate House. There might not have been a particularly deep field here last time, but he did it in stylish fashion. Just looking at his Irish point form, I think a stronger test of stamina might even see him in a better light.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.