What a day we had yesterday and it was a privilege to be in attendance on a historic day to witness both Hurricane Fly become only the 2nd horse to regain the Champion Hurdle and the wonder mare powering up the hill to win from a very uncompromising position to win a incredible 5th Mares Hurdle. If that wasn't enough then today we have the brilliant Sprinter Sacre surely bar accident become the Champion Chaser.
The marathon 4m John Oaksey NH Chase opens proceedings today with Back In Focus bidding to continue Willie Mullins great form after a treble yesterday and this strong stayer should relish the step up to 4m here but I've liked the look of Rival D'estruval ever since he made his impressive chasing debut in October at Carlisle and after a impressive win at Kelso over 3m on his recent start he has been given a break and ill take a chance on this northern raider to take this historic race
Pont Alexandre in the Neptune Investment Novice Hurdle has the look of a Irish banker and its some statement when a trainer the caliber of Willie Mullins pitches this hugely talented 5yo straight into grade 1 company as he did earlier in the season and win impressively and then follow up with another impressive grade 1 win at Leopardstown on his most recent start its hard to see past what could well be a future Gold Cup horse here. The New One and Taquin De Seuil are both high class novices but will need to step up a level to get the better of Pont Alexandre.
The RSA Chase doesn't look a vintage renewal of the top 3m Novice Chase of the year with no outstanding candidate but there plenty in with a chance with the lines of Boston Bob and Unionist but iJim Culloty sends a rare runner over inthe shape of Lord Windermere who has been shaping up like a step up in trip will suit so ill make a tentative selection for him in a tricky looking race.
Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase has looked imperious on his two starts this season and it looks impossible to see anything getting near him but at least he has the former winner Sizing Europe in opposition so it will be no walkover but at the age of 11 it will be hard work for this wonderfully consistent Irish chaser.
The Coral Cup is one of the toughest races of the week to select a winner with 28 set to go to post with any number in with a chance. Nicky Henderson runs Cash And Go here who looks to have a similar profile to his 2010 winner of this Spirit River. Master Of The Sea has been very progressive this season and there wasn't nothing in his last run to say that he isn't still improving so must been in with a serious chance here
Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase is undoubtably the highlight of the day and Irish eyes will be smiling if Pont Alexandre does the business in the Neptune Hurdle on another vintage day is on the cards this afternoon at Cheltenham