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Hour glass start time 14:10 15 Mar

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Brown Advisory Novices' Chase

Calendar 15th March
Horse Racing icon start time 14:10
Horse Racing icon Gerri Colombe to win
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One of the bankers of the week for many is Irish raider Gerri Colombe at 7/4 who runs in the Brown Advisory. This horse is familiar with English shores after winning Sandown’s Scilly Isles Novice Chase which shows he has no issue with travelling over.

His rider that day Jordan Gainford retains the ride after giving him a peach at Sandown. He looked to be beaten at one point but the stamina reserves kicked in and he actually won snugly in the end, suggesting this step up in trip would suit him down to the ground. So far to date he’s won 7 out of 7 starts and looks like he has a magnificent chance of making it 8 in this intriguing contest.

He isn’t the highest rated in the field as that accolade belongs to Thyme Hill who was a great hurdler but looks a bit dubious over fences. I think the Irish take this prize back home courtesy of Gerri.

Queen Mother Champion Chase

Calendar 15th March
Horse Racing icon start time 15:30
Horse Racing icon Energumene to win
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Not quite a vintage renewal of the Champion Chase but it is fascinating that this a division where the top 3 in the market have all already faced each other this season which can’t be said for many of the other grade 1 events.

It’s undoubtedly tricky but tentative preference is given to last year’s victor Energumene at 7/4. I wasn’t too disheartened with his run in the rescheduled Clarence House chase at Cheltenham in January and although a lot of judges were, I’m keeping the faith!

He won this event last year by 8 and a half lengths and backed that up by beating Chacun Pour Soi the same distance in Punchestown. I can forgive him for one bad run the last day, he never jumped particularly well and I think a return to the old course will definitely benefit him.

It took Willie Mullins ages to win his first gold cup then he won 2 in a row so after Energumene delivered him his first Champion Chase, it would be fitting if he could back it up the year after!

Cross Country Chase

Calendar 15th March
Horse Racing icon start time 16:10
Horse Racing icon Galvin to win
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Last year’s winner Delta Work heads the market but I’m opposing him with 9/4 shot and stablemate Galvin who looks to be running over these fences for the first time in his career.

It is quite hard to win this race with no prior experience but if you’re classy enough then it’s more than possible as Delta Work showed last year when dethroning the retiring Tiger Roll. Galvin is rated 7lb higher than Delta Work and has younger legs on his side so if he was to turn up in form, he’d certainly have a fantastic chance of claiming this on route to the National.

All the talk in the media has been about just how well he’s taken to the fences in his schooling so he just needs to get out on track and replicate it in the race now. He’s a great price to oppose the favourite and I’d be surprised if he or Delta Work did not win the race.

Grand Annual Handicap Chase

Calendar 15th March
Horse Racing icon start time 16:50
Horse Racing icon Final Orders to win
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An absolute must watch in the Handicap Chase at 16:50, Final Orders looks far too good to ignore at his current price. A horse that’s exhibited pace and staying power in recent runs, the 7 year old has been a revelation over fences, and is a major player here.

Gary Cromwell’s horse made it 5 wins in a row when it romped to victory at Leopardstown last month. After staying contention until two out, Final Orders jumped the last in contention for the lead and pulled comfortably ahead of a solid field 110 yards out. Such attributes were exhibited over a slightly longer distance, suggesting that both pace and stamina should be no worry here.

It’s also worth considering the bond that this horse has built with current jockey Keith Donoghue. They’ve been together for the horses last 8 runs, and having won their last 5 as a pair, it’s clear to see that Donoghue knows this horse inside out, and vice versa. Yes, it’s a competitive field, but Final Orders has proven of late to be a serial winner alongside a jockey who will be looking to make it 6 from 6.

Champion Bumper

Calendar 15th March
Horse Racing icon start time 17:30
Horse Racing icon Fact To File to win
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Lastly in the bumper, you could pick any of these but my preference is for Fact To File. He’s been a bit of a talking horse in the days leading up to this and Willie did an interview on Sunday where he said this horse would be more than suited by conditions.

He has a little bit to find with A Dream To Share based on Leopardstown running but if the ground is going to be on the softish side then that would bring his stamina in to play as he’s won a 2m4f bumper already.

I think he has very good claims for a trainer who farms this race and an owner who is known for buying some very talented horses. Patrick Mullins has also chosen to ride him which bolsters his claims, a very talented amateur who won the race last year aboard Facile Vega.

Stake £5
Potential Returns £1351
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