CAMPROND 11/2 generally – 1 POINT E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
PULL AGAIN GREEN 20/1 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
We have 2 selections in this race and both will love this decent ground.
CAMPROND is crying out for good ground and he finally gets it. He does not go unnoticed in the market and is attracting a lot of support but I just can’t see how he is not involved in the finish. He ran a cracker last time out in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham, coming home 3rd of 26, on soft ground which he would have hated. He has gone up the handicap 5lb but I have no doubt that on this ground he is at least 143 horse, if not better. If we go back to last season he was 4th in the Coral Cup on soft ground and then went to Punchestown and bolted up on good ground.
We will obviously need a bit of luck in running but CAMPROND is going to take some beating given he likes to race prominently and should not have many traffic problems. E/W.
PULL AGAIN GREEN looks very well handicapped on a mark of 132. He was sent novice chasing at the start of the year but he never looked like a natural and he was always going to go back over hurdles. He returned to hurdles last month at Kempton and ran a decent race, travelling well for a long way and just getting tired on soft ground. It was also on the back of a wind operation and as I have always said, the best time to catch a horse after a wind operation, is his 2nd run back, as they have learned from their first run that they can actually breathe again. Combine that with a return to good ground and he looks a cracking bet. If you go back to this time last year and he was winning a handicap at the April Cheltenham meeting, off a mark of 130. He is just 2lb higher today but if you take off the 3lb that Liam Harrison claims, then he is in at 129 and bottom weight. He is a huge price and to me is massive value. E/W.
INTHEPOCKET 9/2 generally – 1 POINT WIN
PEMBROKE 22/1 generally – 0.375 POINTS E/W (4 places, 1/5 odds)
We have 2 selections in the race.
A decent looking race but the form from the Supreme Novice Hurdle does it for me with INTHEPOCKET. I think an awful lot of Marine Nationale and INTHEPOCKET was 4th to him, beaten 6 lengths. If he brings that form to this race, he wins this race, as simple as that. All season he has been in great form with a win at Naas in December, in a grade 2. He then went to the Dublin Racing Festival and came home 2nd to Il Etait Temps in a Grade 1, before finishing 4th in the Supreme Novice Hurdle. The way I am looking at this race and the others at the top of the market, is would any of them finish in the first 4 in the supreme and the answer is I don’t think they would have. INTHEPOCKET is a very solid bet and I think he should be a clear favourite. WIN.
I am also taking a chance on the Dan Skelton trained horse, PEMBROKE. He was soundly beaten at Cheltenham in the County Hurdle but he did make a mistake at the 2nd last hurdle and was given any easy time by Harry Skelton, after the mistake. I am happy to put a line through that form as I think he is a better horse than what we saw that day.
On his penultimate start he was 2nd at Cheltenham on Trials Day over 2m 4f, but just didn’t see out the trip. He is definitely a 2 miler or at least as a novice anyway. Dan Skelton thinks a lot of PEMBROKE and they put a first time tongue tie to try and get that bit more improvement. I think PEMBROKE will turn out to be a smart horse and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him outrun his huge odds. E/W.