- Bill Esdaile (City Am)
- Richard (Dickie) Johnson
- Mick Fitzgerald
- Charlie Longsdon
- Luke Tarr (Star Sports)
Day 1 - Champions Day
Supreme Novices Hurdle
Despite the current market, all of the panel felt that Willie Mullins’ horse Getabird (11-8) is far too short a price in what they feel is an open race. Host, Bill Esdaile leant towards Summerville Boy each way at odds of 10-1 whilst both Charlie Longsdon and Star Sport’s Luke Tarr favoured Amy Murphy’s star horse Kalashnikov at 5-1 to win the opener.
Arkle Novices’ Chase
Again, Luke Tarr felt that the hot favourite, Footpad (another of Mullins’) wouldn’t deliver for favourite backers and would be happy to lay it. Dickie Johnson on the other hand stated that Footpad (11-8) would win with Saint Calvados (10-3) in second. Bill Esdaile agreed that Saint Calvados would run a big race and even predicted him to win. Meanwhile, Mick Fitzgerald talked up Petit Mouchoir (9-4), much to Johnson’s amusement.
Unsurprisingly, the panel couldn’t see any horse winning the feature race of Day 1 other than Buveur D’air (4-9), with Tarr predicting Nicky Henderson’s colt to go off at 2-5 on the day. In terms of the place positions, Fitzgerald felt that Melon (16-1) represents huge value. Johnson thinks that My Tent or Yours (9-1) will place for the 3rd year in a row whilst Longsdon talked a good game for Wicklow Brave (12-1). According to Tarr, one to keep an eye on if the ground stays soft is John Constable trained by Evan Williams (40-1).
Interestingly most of the panel felt that whilst Apple’s Jade (4-7) would win, the price is too short to get excited about. The only other mare talked up was La Bague au Roi (who Dickie hopes to be onboard) trained by Warren Greatrex as Johnson hopes she will outperform her current 8-1 valuation.
Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase
Luke Tarr strongly tipped up current race favourite Coo Star Sivola (8-1) for Nick Williams set to be ridden by Lizzie Kelly. Whilst Johnson talked up Phillip Hobbs’ Rock the Kasbah (25-1). Although how much you read into that is up to you…
National Hunt Chase
In what appears to be a wide open race, Bill Esdaile revealed that The Coddfather (Jamie Codd) has been booked for the ride of Gordon Elliot’s specialist four miler Jury Duty. Once this becomes common knowledge Jury Duty’s odds will surely be slashed so if you like him, back now!
Close Brothers Novice Handicap Chase
Bill Esdaile’s tip of the day is Any Second Now (7-1) in the JP Mcmanus silks who would have won a couple of Grade 1’s already this season had he not run into Arkle favourite Footpad. Fitzie also leans towards Any Second Now whilst Charlie Longsdon really likes Gordon Elliot’s 8 year old De Plotting Shed (11-2)