10:28 – Three horses to oppose on Day 3
We've tasked Jack Houghton with finding three short priced runners to lay every day this week and he's made a good start, with four winning lays from six selections. Find out who he is opposing in his Day 3 column.
10:07 – The Betting Guy's Day 3 trades
After advising a back-to-lay on Delta Work – who hit [1.7] in-running – on Wednesday, The Betting Guy returns with his best Exchange trades for Day 3. Listen to his latest podcast here:
09:48 – @StopwatchRacing's verdict on Day 2 and Thursday best bets
A tale of two middle distance hurdles yesterday, the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and the Coral Cup, run over identical distances but in slightly different ways.
The Ballymore was a stern test at the trip with a strong pace from the off. Stamina, as well as class, came to the fore and it was City Island (pictured) who emerged victorious. Champ travelled better than anything, and would likely have done City Island for speed under different circumstances, but was unable to get past the tough winner who was extending at the line.
Bright Forecast, who had previously been plying his trade over the minimum trip, shaped in third like another step up in distance may be necessary to see him to best affect. Brewin'upastorm, the eventual fourth, shaped like a shorter trip will play better to his strengths.
The Coral Cup, while not run at a crawl by any means, was nonetheless a relative test of speed and the winner, the sparingly campaigned William Henry has to be upgraded for his victory.
Brio Conti travelled better than anything, probably too well, and got there too soon. Patrick Mullins must have thought he used Wicklow Brave‘s two-mile speed perfectly but was worried out of it at the death.
The closing sectionals here were excellent and, when synthesised with the overall time, are indicative of the quality of contest: the first half dozen home are all likely better than their current marks.
The RSA Chase produced the best race of the week thus far. Class came to the fore with the first three home the first three in the market (albeit finishing in directly the wrong market order).
Harry Cobden rode Topofthegame to perfection hanging on to him until the last fence where he produced a superb jump. Timeform recorded the finishing speed as 104.8% which suggests that tactical speed was crucial at the finish.
Topofthegame possesses plenty of that whereas Santini and Delta Work would probably have preferred a greater test at the trip. Regardless, all three animals look to be Grade 1 types and I would suggest that Santini will have an enormous chance in the 2020 Gold Cup assuming all goes to plan.
Thoughts on Day 3
The JLT Novices Chase kicks us off on Day three with Defi Du Seuil (pictured) and Lostintranslation clear at the top of the market. They've traded wins thus far and look very similar, in ability terms, albeit completely different in their racing styles.
Defi's the much pacier of the two, no surprise given he's a Grade 1 winner over the minimum, whilst Lostintranslation would be equally at home over three-miles. Barry Geraghty gave the JP charge a lovely ride in outpacing Lostintranslation the last time they met but that race turned into a test of speed at the trip.
Today's contest looks certain to feature a stronger pace and I'd be quite confident that would turn things back in Lostintranslation's favour. The ground certainly isn't as testing as it was on day one of the Festival but I would still expect stamina to come to the fore here and that will suit him better. I had him the narrow favourite so I think the market's upside down.
At a bigger price, I like the look of Kauto Riko in the Brown Advisory Plate. He posted a sectional performance above his station when winning in December then failed to match that when third in January.
The pace was steady that day, which definitely wouldn't have suited him, so he can be excused that run and I think the extra half mile could suit. At [75.0] on the Exchange, we can pay to find out.