It’s set to be a fantastic weekend of racing across the UK and Ireland and our very own Sam Boswell is here to provide you with his best bets ahead of the action.
Ramses De Teillee
The Welsh Grand National is often rerouted to early January and we will have everything crossed that Chepstow’s showpiece race of the year can be run.
Before we get into the race I think it is worth mentioning the sponsors naming the race after the late Kim Gingell who was a huge part of the Tizzard team. Christmas In April would be an appropriate winner of the race and I wish connections well.
Secret Reprieve sits as the current favourite and the seven year old looks a progressive staying chaser that ticks plenty of boxes.
My each way selection is going to be the David Pipe trained Ramses De Teillee. The Pipe team have been ticking over nicely with a 30% strike rate in the last two weeks. He can boast form here when winning the Grand National trial last season on heavy ground. His effort in the Becher Chase last time out was a tad concerning but I am prepared to forgive that as a one off and hope he can go one better than his previous effort in the race in 2018.
The Ballymore market got a good shake up over the Christmas period with Bravemansgame claiming the Challow in fine style. I think the Lawlor’s hurdle at Naas on Sunday will give us a clear pointer to one of the best Irish contenders for the opening race on day two of the Festival.
Past winners of the race have included Envoi Allen, Battleoverdoyen and Next Destination. Bob Olinger is a name that I think will be added to the illustrious roll of honour.
We saw the horse win a bumper at Gowran last season by 10 lengths. Covid stopping the spring jumps season prevented us from seeing him at Aintree or Punchestown to further test his abilities in bumpers. This season he kicked off by going down narrowly to the now sadly injured Ferney Hollow over two miles in heavy ground. His second hurdles start was a facile win at very short odds. The manner of just how well he jumped and travelled made him look more than a cut above his rivals.
I think in deeper company today he can confirm my suspicions he is going to be a very nice horse for his connections. At time of writing he remains 8/1 for the Ballymore with BetVictor who are also offering an extra place on all novice hurdles at the Festival. I think that Bob Olinger is a cracking play with that concession ahead of his run here in a grade one contest.