Nobody managed to find the four winners in yesterday’s Tote Jackpot, hardly surprising given three of them returned at 16-1, 25-1 and 22-1, but that just makes today’s pool even more attractive as there is a rollover of €34,198.
Finding the right banker or bankers is critical when marking your Tote Jackpot coupons and Moon Racer fits the bill in today’s Grade 1 Attheraces.com Champion Flat Race (6.05). David Pipe seems to be saying all the right things about the unbeaten son of Saffron Walden and there is a strong suspicion that this season’s bumper brigade are not as good as the year before. Moon Racer won the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2015, despite missing the start, and had Yanworth (fourth), Supasundae (sixth) and Bellshill (tenth) behind him.
Pipe has been patient and didn’t rush him into a novice hurdle campaign. Instead, he skipped Cheltenham and wisely waited for today’s contest, keeping his novice status until next season. If back to his brilliant best, he looks a cut above his rivals today and he is fancied to make a winning comeback under Jamie Codd.
While Moon Racer stands out like a sore thumb, finding the winner of the winner of the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle (4.55) is not so straightforward and the advice is to include as many horses as you can on your Jackpot coupons.
Bellshill is favourite, deservedly so on the back of his agonising defeat when upped to 3m for the first time at Aintree, but he has been inconsistent this season and cannot be trusted. Stone Hard falls into the same category but he has tonnes of ability and should not be underestimated.
Acapella Bourgeois is a tough as nails and ought be to suited by the step up to 3m. He displayed his battling qualities at Fairyhouse when fending off everything up the home straight and that fighting spirit will stand him in good stead today. Others to note include Emerging Force, the frustrating Gangster and Coney Island.
The big race of the day is the Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup (5.30) and it is Cue Card’s race to lose. He has the best form, he is the highest-rated and he looked as good as ever at Aintree.
He should win but it could be worth including Road To Riches too who looks a little overpriced at 12-1 given this will be the first time all season that he is running under his own terms and conditions. He is finally running over his best trip, on his favourite ground and expect him to give Cue Card plenty to think about.
The Guinness Handicap Chase (6.40) brings the Tote Jackpot to a close and I have a feeling that Irish Cavalier could prove a class apart. There is a Tote Trifecta guarantee for €10,000 on this race too and Pass The Hat and Rogue Trader could be the ones to chase Rebecca Curtis’ charge home.