- Bill Esdaile (City Am)
- Richard (Dickie) Johnson
- Mick Fitzgerald
- Charlie Longsdon
- Luke Tarr (Star Sports)
A corker of a race to set off the final day of The Festival. Despite being the short priced favourite, Apple’s Shakira didn’t receive much support from the panel apart from Mick who thinks she’ll win if the ground stays soft. If Prestbury Park drys out however, he reckons that Alan King’s Redicean (4-1) will win. Johnson has also been impressed with Redicean but supported his mount Gumball (33-1). Longsdon thinks 7-1 shot Stormy Ireland could be worth considering due to some very impressive speed figures whilst Luke Tarr revealed that he has backed We Have A Dream (7-1) and is happy to boost odds on any horse you fancy.
Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
Despite being a more open race on paper our panel spoke with much more harmony. Johnson, Longsdon and Tarr all agreed that Nicky Henderson’s Santini (4-1) has a cracking chance, whilst Tarr revealed that Santini is currently Star Sports’ biggest liability of The Festival. A further interesting horse to consider is Calett Mad (16-1) who has the most experience in the race, which goes a long way in the Albert Bartlett. Mick went against the grain and said recommends backing Duc des Genievres (6-1) to place.
Luckily none of the panel tipped up Sizing John with him recently being withdrawn from the race! Johnson talked incredibly positively about Native River’s (9-2) chances, who he thinks stands more of a chance the softer it gets and will improve on last year’s place due to a less strenuous season. Longsdon backed Johnson up stating that Native River recently recorded identical speed figures to those of Altior. Fitzgerald still isn’t impressed with Might Bite (3-1) and thinks he will veer sharply right again after the last fence (as he did memorably last year). Only this year he won’t get away with it. Meanwhile, Tarr revealed that he has backed both Road to Respect (9-1) and Killultagh Vic (8-1) and will offer Native River at 6s to anyone that fancies it (although that may have changed with the recent withdrawal of Sizing John).
Luke stated that he’s very keen on Nicky Henderson’s horse Diese des Bieffes (10-1), especially now that rising jockey James Bowen has been booked for the ride for the Martin Pipe Conditionals Handicap Hurdle. He also likes both Vaniteux (10-1) and Diego du Charmil (16-1) in the Grand Annual.
Luke Tarr - A Trixie made up of Kalashnikov (Supreme), Black Op (Ballymore), Santini Albert Bartlett).
Charlie Longsdon - Kalashnikov (Supreme) / Terrefort (JLT)
Mick Fitzgerald - Modus (JLT)
Richard Johnson - Sam Spinner (Stayers Hurdle)
Bill Esdaile - Any Second Now (Close Brothers)
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