Racing Daily with BetVictor – Mar 5

Only a week to the start of the Cheltenham Festival and Ruth Jefferson announced on Monday that Waiting Patiently (8/1 at the time with BetVictor NRNB) would miss the Ryanair Chase next week with Aintree, Punchestown and Auteuil all in the mix going forward.

There is plenty of rain forecast between now and the opening Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but connections have decided their chaser needs more time to get over his recent Ascot run when runner up to Cryname. Willie Mullins’ Min remains 3/1 favourite at BetVictor (NRNB) with stablemate Footpad 7/2, Monalee 4s and previous winner of the Grade 1 Chase Un De Sceaux 7/1.

Smarty Wild is likely to be all the rage for the opener at Exeter this afternoon having won at Ludlow last time for Philip Hobbs. I am going to take a chance, however, on The Kings Baby (2.15) who drops back in trip having given the outside up to no one when having a confidence restorer here on her last start.

The selection was a duel winner in her native Ireland over timber and the handicapper has dropped the 8-y-old by 5lbs for what I felt was an encouraging effort. Jonjo O’Neill takes the ride in this conditional jockey’s event.

Present Value (3.15) was an impressive winner at Chepstow on soft ground in December and is taken to follow up with today’s additional half-mile considered a positive for this half-brother to Stayers’ Hurdle market leader Paisley Park.

Garrane (4.15) was pulled up last time at Wincanton when an early mistake on ground quicker than ideal took him out of his comfort zone. Trainer Jeremy Scott has his string in excellent form and this stiffer track should suit his 7-year-old although I wouldn’t want the ground to dry out too much from the description of good to soft at noon on Monday. Note there is some drizzle forecast for Tuesday.

Parlour Maid must go close in the finale, but preference is for Kavanaghs Corner (5.15) returning to the scene of his C&D win last spring, albeit from a 14lbs lower mark. The selection was slightly below par at Huntingdon last time, but further rain will suit, and he can give Simon Earle a first winner of the season.

At Newcastle Sophie Olivia (3.30) has an excellent record fresh and she has been given 111 days to get over a poor run at Ayr on heavy ground back in November. The mare had previously proved a revelation when making a winning chase debut returning from a break at Hexham from an 8lbs lower mark.

The grey Juge Et Parti (4.00) remains a maiden for Nigel Twiston-Davies although he has finished runner up no fewer than five times over hurdles. The selection is a Bumper winner and connections look to have found a decent opportunity although Jammy George would be giving the selection a couple of pounds if this were a handicap.

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