EDWARDSTONE 13/8 generally – 1.5 POINTS WIN
EDWARSTONE is my NAP of the day and he is going to be very hard to beat in my opinion. It was only at last season’s Cheltenham Festival he was sent off 15/8 for the Champion Chase and although he was poor that day, he has shown he retains his ability with two 2nds, behind Jonbon this season. He stepped up in trip last time out and basically didn’t get home over 2m 4f, showing he is clearly more suited to 2 miles. Although he didn’t quite stay 2m 4f last time out, he does get further than 2 miles so in this ground you would expect Edwardstone to be the one staying on at the finish. He is the classiest in the race and I think it will take a top class performance to get him beat. WIN.
OCASTLE DES MOTTES – 5/1 generally – 1 POINT E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
DODDIETHEGREAT 25/1 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
We have 2 selections in this race.
I always had OCASTLE DES MOTTES in the back of my mind as Willie Mullins is not bringing this horse over for nothing. I guess the main reason they are bringing him over is down to his handicap mark. He has been given a handicap mark of 139 in Ireland yet in the UK he has a handicap mark of 133. Someone has messed up here as it is always the other way around, where your Irish handicap mark is lower than your UK one. He really could be 10lb well in here and Willie Mullins is simply exploiting the UK handicapper, it is as simple as that.
This is his first run for Willie Mullins as he was purchased from France for Simon Munir. He comes over with a decent reputation after winning two decent handicaps in France.
Willie Mullins does very well with this type of horse and we know from his form in France, he loves deep ground.
Mullins is simply a master and this could really be a case, at the end of the race, where we say, how did that go off 5/1 with how far he is ahead of the handicapper. E/W.
Although an 8 year old, I don’t think we have seen the best of the lightly raced DODDIETHEGREAT. He has had 5 career starts, that is how lightly raced he is for his age. He did pick up a bad injury back in 2021 which resulted in him having 746 days off the track. That is over 2 years off the track but he still bounced back with a win at Ascot in November and this was followed up with an excellent 2nd at Cheltenham in December. He has had a nice break since and on a small mark of 132, I am sure he has been trained specifically for this race. E/W.