BIG RACE PREVIEW with The Jumps Punter

It would have been really nice to see Coneygree make his first appearance after injury here today and add a bit more spice to the race. However, with ground conditions it’s understandable connections don’t want to be running him on ground that won’t suit him.

Menorah is why I love National Hunt racing so much. The horse has been around for years and has been a good servant to his connections. He was a winner of this race two seasons ago. He was however pulled up in the race last year and I do just feel as he has gotten older he has just lost a little of his ability against the top grade 1 chasers. If he meets Cue Card in the same form as last season then I don’t think he will be good enough to beat him.

Blaklion arrives here having notched up his first Grade 1 chase win in the RSA at the Cheltenham festival last season.  I do like watching to see how these novices from last year perform now against these seasoned chasers. He is such a gutsy horse which will stand him in really good stead against these battle hardened Grade 1 performers. He is the horse, for me, who is going to give Cue Card the most to think about and this makes for a fantastic race. Both horses arrive into the race from stables who are in really good form.

Last year’s winner Cue Card is looking to make it back to back wins in the race. He arrives here at a time where the stable just seems to have hit form. They took the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last Sunday and will be looking to continue their good run of form in this race. Cue Card is, without doubt, the horse they all have to beat here. Given the season he had last year if he starts off in the same vein of form, what a race we have in store.

Having looked through the race I was left thinking a couple of things. Do I really want to be taking the short price about Cue Card when we have a horse in Blaklion stepping out of novice company who will be looking to lower his colours? The answer was simply no. The second question was, do I want to be taking on a horse who has won a Betfair Chase and a King George last year and fell when in with a serious chance of winning the Gold Cup? The answer again was no.

I came to the conclusion that at the prices I don’t want to be taking a short price about Cue Card but at the same time I don’t want to be backing against him either. So I’m going to sit back and enjoy watching the race without a financial interest and with the equine talent on show that won’t be hard at all.

I’d advise you all did the same as we have a cracking race in store and sometimes it’s great to sit back and take it all in!

Enjoy the race.

The Jumps Punter

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