1.30 – Triumph H’dle
I think Defi Du Seuil has been the best horse so far and he deserves to be favourite. People may say his jumping isn’t strong but it’s worth remembering the Triumph Hurdle track only has two hurdles in the last 7f meaning most of the jumping is done early in the race. So in that respect I don’t think jumping will be an issue and he looks streets ahead of anything else in the race. The Irish form all ties in together and all of the contenders keep beating each other so that form is a bit puzzling.
Master Blueyes has run very well but he needs to step up on what he has shown to have any chance of winning this. Dandy Mag could outrun his likely big price – he’s a brother of Vroum Vroum Mag and he’s still very unexposed. He goes well at home so I think he could run well at a big price.
2.05 – County H’dle
I think Mick Jazz is coming into the race a little under the radar for Gordon Elliott in what is always a very tricky race to pick the winner of. He beat Cilaos Emery at Punchestown and I think it’s worth checking to see how that runs in the Supreme as a view to the form of Mick Jazz. In a very trappy race, I think you could make a case for nearly every runner but I think Mick Jazz has come into the race quietly and looks to be a solid horse in the race.
I was 2nd in a Champion Hurdle on Arctic Fire and he’s a good horse but off top weight in a race like this it’s a big ask, you also have to factor in that he’s been off the track for a long time which isn’t ideal and he would have to put in an unbelievable performance to take this.
2.40 – Albert Bartlett H’dle
Death Duty is a very hot favourite but I think he’s very beatable in a race that favourites have an awful record in. Of all the short priced horses this week I think he could be the one to get beaten and I think Augusta Kate would certainly have put it up to him in Navan if she hadn’t fallen at the last. She may not have beaten him, and we’ll never know, but I do think he’s opposable here.
Monalee is a horse that was only a few lengths behind Death Duty in Navan and he could well improve to get closer to him this time.
In January, West Approach finished 3rd to last year’s winner of this race Unowhatimeanharry at Cheltenham and he could improve again now that he drops back into Novice company.
One horse that I think could go very well is The Worlds End who will be ridden by Adrian Heskin. There is a lot of confidence in this horse and he could very much outrun his big price.
Tin Soldier is another horse that could run well at a big price. Willie’s horse could go for a different race but if he turns up here he could run well. He got going late in Thurles the last time he ran and he’s a lazy horse that takes a while to get going. He could be the type of horse that you need to win an Albert Bartlett. There are plenty in with a big chance of beating Death Duty and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him outgunned in this race.
3.30 Gold Cup
I find it hard to get away from Djakadam here. His preparation has been much better than last year after he had a bad cut to his chest that he got from a fall in his prep run, he still finished a good 2nd to Don Cossack. Two years ago he finished 2nd to Coneygree and I think he was still a bit babyish and weak at the time. He has strengthened up and he has proven Gold Cup form and Willie and all the team are delighted with him so I think he’s the one they all have to beat.
Cue Card is 11 and he is probably too old to win this race, he was unlucky last year when he fell but this could be a step too far considering his age. Native River is still a glorified handicapper who might improve, but still has to improve significantly to become a Gold Cup winner.
Of the rest, I think Sizing John is a very classy horse and if he can settle he could go close. I think he was a bit keen early on in the Irish Gold Cup before settling but he will need to settle early if he is to get the trip. It’s worth remembering his run in Leopardstown was his first go over 3m so I think he could improve again and at his current price I think he is the value in the race to challenge Djakadam who I think is the horse they all have to beat.
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