Strong stayer but doesn’t want too much rain
13:15 – Soldier of Love
He has made giant strides this season starting with a narrow success at Bangor in July off a mark of 118, has won three more, is now up to 144 and recently was the only one to give Galvin a race at this track. Soldier of Love is a strong stayer and a repeat of that form would give him sound claims here. While he worked very well on Thursday morning all of his form is on decent ground and he wouldn’t want too much rain.
Very fit and could go really well if it gets soft or heavy
13:50 – Yala Enki
In contrast the more it rains for Yala Enki the better. He is a mudlark who keeps on rolling and landed Taunton’s valuable Portman Cup last January in testing conditions. Last year he wasn’t 100% fit on his seasonal debut in the Ladbroke Trophy after a wind op. This time he has been in since July 1, has done plenty and is definitely fit. I could really fancy him if it goes soft or heavy at Cheltenham.
Has had a wind op and I’m still learning about him
14:25 – Duc Des Genievres
He is another of a bunch of horses sent to me by Jarred Sullivan which were previously with Willie Mullins. He seemed to lose his way last season and has had a wind op since joining us. I’m still learning about Duc Des Genievres, who has done plenty at home, and I will find out more after this first run for us.
Two decent chances in the Greatwood depending on the ground
15:00 – Sir Psycho & Thyme White
I thought Sir Psycho ran a blinding race last time over two and a half miles at Chepstow when not quite ready. The ground was a bit quicker than ideal that day and if they get plenty of rain at Cheltenham, which looks quite possible, then he will relish soft going back at two miles and will have a decent each-way chance.
I loved the way Thyme White won at Chepstow last month and he is in amazing form at home. He is still improving and is stronger now but I’m not convinced he is suited by soft ground so that is a bit of concern. He was raised 11lbs to a mark of 141 after Chepstow and I’d be more confident if the ground doesn’t turn against him.
Will handle any ground and has a very good chance
15:35 – Fidelio Vallis
I thought he ran very well last time at Kempton when second to Mrs Hyde. He was giving 7lbs to the winner who then properly franked the form by beating Verdana Blue next time. Fidelio Vallis has come good this season, stays well, handles any ground, and looks to have a first rate chance.
Big show expected if ground doesn’t become too testing
16:05 – Stage Star
He is a lovely prospect who hacked up at Chepstow on his debut for us at the end of last month and was very strong at the finish. You are never quite sure what you have beaten in these bumpers but Stage Star is certainly bred for the job being by Fame and Glory out of a smart hurdles mare Sparky May and has earned a shot at this Listed bumper. I’m expecting a big show from him although he is unlikely to run if the ground becomes very testing.