The 10/1 with BetVictor for Might Bite to go one better in next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup was never going to last and Friday’s runner up is now 8/1 for the 2019 renewal behind Native River and RSA Chase winner Presenting Percy who are 6/1 joint favourites.
I hope we see Might Bite at Aintree in the Bowl next month where he would take all the beating, but the winner Native River has been put away for next season despite having only had two starts this term.
They go at Lingfield on the all-weather this afternoon and the hope is that Megan Nicholls can get Cliffs Of Dover (3.25) settled as well as she did when scoring over C&D from a 7lbs lower mark last time. The horse is a near top-class hurdler who has been waiting for decent ground over obstacles for Paul Nicholls and he should get a decent tow into the race with Akavit, a confirmed front-runner, in the field.
The 10f Novice Stakes is a good contest with Caspar The Cub making a very encouraging debut when second at Wolverhampton on debut – belying his odds of 33/1. He is entitled to come on for the experience but Storywriter (3.55) was inconvenienced by the slow early gallop when second at Newcastle last time and can go one better for Charlie Appleby and William Buick.
Saeed bin Suroor’s Beautiful Memory has won his last couple of starts at Chelmsford the last time under today’s talented 5lb claimer, but the form of his latest success was let down when the runner up (Legal History) disappointed at Wolverhampton last time.
Solid Man (4.55) steps up in trip to ten furlongs for the first time for David Simcock in his first-time blinkers and was staying on well – despite pulling hard – over a mile at Newcastle last time. The selection is well drawn in three, has a good apprentice booked and must go close.
Today’s Southwell jumps card was lost yesterday as was Kelso.
The Down Royal card abandoned on Saturday has been rescheduled for this afternoon and Fire In His Eyes (4.00) can land the Novice Chase for the all-conquering combination of Gigginstown Stud, Gordon Elliot and Davy Russell. The selection has finished runner up in his last three starts but he ran into the potentially smart Up For Review at Gowran last time and he receives weight from his three principle rivals.
It is hard to oppose Mala Beach (4.30) in the feature Chase on the card although he has yet to win beyond three miles. That should not be an issue in their small field, however, and this season’s Troytown Chase winner should be another winner for Elliot and Russell.
Sizingdowntherhine (5.05) finished second in a Hunter Chase at Fairyhouse last month and this looks a weaker race. The Potts family did not have a Festival winner, although Supasundae ran a cracker when runner up in the Stayers’ Hurdle, but I think we might see their colours back in the winners enclosure this afternoon.