An apple a day keeps the doctor away…so they say. This Easter Bank Holiday Weekend we’ve got a selection a day to keep the punter at play!
Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning were in fine tune at the All-Weather Finals on Good Friday at Lingfield and they’ve got super claims of more success up in Scotland on Saturday.
This Lethal Force colt has been improving with his racing and duly got off the mark at the third time of asking when scoring on the all-weather at Lingfield over a mile in February.
It was a decisive success and the form has since been boosted by the runner-up winning next time and fourth home narrowly denied at Kempton by a decent-looking Richard Hannon newcomer.
On his handicap bow, Reggae Runner can outrun his rivals at Musselburgh for the in-form trainer/jockey combo.
Real Steel found the JLT at Cheltenham last month too hot for his liking but he looks capable of taking this Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase with only four rivals in his path.
Stablemate Voix Du Reve is amongst them, but he’s been undone by his jumping in both of his most recent starts and is swerved now on account of that. The Gordon Elliott-trained Mengli Khan is liable to start favourite but he’s been somewhat frustrating this season and hasn’t been able to add to his chase bow success back in November.
Real Steel meanwhile was impressive with two wins before going to Cheltenham and will have learned plenty from that experience, earning him the nod with the small field to suit.
The Irish Grand National is the final piece of the jigsaw for this season following the showpiece events at Chepstow, Aintree and Ayr. Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins dominate the field but they could be foiled despite sheer weight of numbers in their favour.
Noel Meade’s Tout Est Permis has been very progressive this season and, unbeaten in three starts for the yard, is feared but must carry top-weight so the alternative is Enda Bolger’s Auvergnat.
He’s readily forgiven for a poor show in the Cross Country at Cheltenham, a course that has failed to see him at his best, and instead is judged on his excellent Leopardstown win at Christmas, where he had the likes of Any Second Now and Dounikos behind him.
This race was favoured over Aintree and a mark of 143 looks decent, ensuring the JP McManus runner appeals in the betting.
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