Thursday’s racing offers action at Fakenham, Gowran Park and Wetherby over jumps, whilst all-weather fans have cards at Newcastle and Southwell to enjoy.
Benie Des Dieux
Gowran Park (13.50)
Midweek action rarely offers a card as jam-packed with superstars as Gowran today. The head to head between Benie Des Dieux and Apples Jade is a mouth-watering clash that will have a significant impact on the Cheltenham Festival ante post markets.
Willie Mullins’ mare has not been seen since winning in France back in May. Some punters will feel she has unfinished business this season having fallen at the last in the Mares Hurdle at the Festival last season.
Apples Jade came back from the brink of being retired with a brilliant win in the Frank Ward Grade One Hurdle last time out.
Whilst Benie may be in need of the run, she is the more consistent of the pair and has never been beaten by Apples Jade when they have met. With this in mind, she is the one I am keen to back in this top-class renewal of the Galmoy Hurdle.
Acapella Bourgeois Each Way
Gowran Park (15.00)
The Thyestes is often a brilliant race and this year’s renewal looks a real tough puzzle to solve.
You can make a case for several runners; the Galway plate winner Borice didn’t seem to enjoy Newbury last time out but if he handles the conditions, could be involved today.
Willie Mullins has a strong hand and races like this are key to his title battle with Gordon Elliott.
Joint-favourite at the time of writing is from the Closutton yard with Chef Des Obeaux.
Whilst the eight-year-old would have fair claims, it is Paul Townend’s choice of Acapella Bourgeois that I am drawn to.
The ten-year-old was last seen finishing second to Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo at Tramore over a shorter trip. Mullins’ yard has come alive in recent weeks and he is operating at a 33