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3.30 Down Royal
|Galahad Quest||11/1||Each Way
Date of Tips: 29/10/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (11:04 29/10/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Results from the last couple of days haven’t perhaps been the ones I was hoping for, but heading into an exciting weekend of action – it’s hard not to have a tingle knowing that plenty of the National Hunt stars are beginning to come out in full force. The first day of the Down Royal meeting today is usually an indicator of the start of the proper National Hunt season in Ireland and there are some excellent races there, alongside strong cards from Wetherby and Uttoxeter.
The Down Royal card itself looks to be a tricky one and not full of betting opportunities, without wanting to sound too cliche – there should be plenty of watching briefs afforded today, with a view to the future. The only bet on the card from Down Royal for me comes in the 3.30, which is a fascinating beginners chase and brings some top form to the table from different angles. I am going to side with the rapid improver of the line-up, Grand Paradis – who may well start off a very strong season with a good run in a race that Elliot loves to target. Infact, Elliot has sent many of his top notchers to this race in the past few seasons, so this may well be a sign of how regarded this horse is. He won his last two starts in impressive fashion and looks to have the size and physique for jumping. Despite it being a warm field, I think the general price of 5/2 is fair.
Moving across to Wetherby, there is a very exciting eight race card on the horizon with plenty of good horses taking their chance. One of the featured events on the card is the 3.50 race, which is a 2m3f Handicap Chase and has attracted a strong field of 10 to the post. I quite like the progressive Galahad Quest, who is making his first start to the new season and looks to have good prospects of progressing more this year round. Having run some tidy races in defeat, Galahad Quest stepped up on his known form to beat Marown at Haydock last time out, which was a good scalp and has been raised six pounds for that effort. He has to step up again in this strongest contest, but has the scope and ability to do so. At a best price of 11/1 with Paddy Power, he is an each way bet.
The following race on the card at Wetherby is equally intriguing. This handicap chase over 2 miles sees a combination of younger, unexposed horses coming up against those who have done it before, and dare I say, have got the t-shirt. However, if taking to fences on this occasion, I think that Fontaine Collonges could be a step above her rivals here and a mark of 116 might seem a little silly come the end of the season. Having won two starts over hurdles for Venetia Williams, including when beating No Risk Des Flos last time (rated 128), she could well have a very workable price on this occasion. She shaped like she would make a chaser and with every drop of rain that is falling being to her benefit, I think she will run very well. She is a general price of 4/1 – which is a good price.
And finally, we head to Uttoxeter for their card and two selections. The opening race on the card is a 2m4f novice hurdle and it looks like the unexposed Baddesley hold the aces in this contest. However, he still has got it to prove over obstacles and even though he has to carry a penalty, the preference is with Jetaway Joey, who might well have a big chance in this race – especially after his trainer withdrew his other runner, Tigerbythetail. Having started a little slowly over hurdles, this horse did it nicely on his last start and looks to be improving with every single run. I’m hoping he can do the job and run a big price here. At a price of 9/2 with William Hill, I’ll be keeping the fingers crossed.
And the final selection comes in the 2.48, which is the 2m novices handicap chase and has a really exciting recruit to these ranks running. In fact, when originally seeing the entries for this race, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to get a backable price for Minella Drama – but he is readily available at 15/8 this morning and is second in the market – which is another surprise. This horse showed some very strong form last year, culminating in a second behind My Drogo at Aintree, which looks like excellent form and he was ahead of some decent types on that occasion as well. The step down to 2m should not inconvenience him and if taking to this discipline, he should take a lot of beating. 15/8 is a good price.