With a mix of Cheltenham, Punchestown and Fontwell, Sunday looks set to be a cracker.

Nick Luck has picked his way through the three meetings and has fancies in six races.


CLOTH CAP can take advantage of what looks a nice mark in the staying handicap (1.50pm) at 7/1. Already well proven over a marathon trip, this largely consistent and lightly raced horse shaped quite well in Frodon’s race on his comeback. Although behind West Approach, he plugged on in genuine fashion and can be trusted to build on that, with the likelihood of softer ground very much in his favour.

PUT THE KETTLE ON might be the way forward at 5/2 in an absorbing renewal of the Shloer Chase (2.25pm). I watched the Arkle again last night and was even more struck by the ease with which she breezed clear between the third last and two out, immediately getting useful rivals off the bridle. She then had to dig hard to better a very smart horse in Fakir d’Oudairies, but never looked like getting beaten and has been underestimated. This Old Course two miles suits her perfectly, and she may have a touch more speed than Defi Du Seuil.

5/1 favourite PROSCHEMA looks to have been prepared beautifully for the Greatwood (3.00pm) by the Skelton team, past masters at sorting out these valuable two-mile hurdles. Some of his Flat form was borderline pattern class, and there were seriously encouraging signs on his hurdling return at Wetherby, where he travelled like easily the best before getting a little tired. The stronger the pace, the better he’ll be, and he won’t mind any further rain (which might inconvenience both Thyme White and Edwardstone). I won’t leave BALLYANDY unbacked at 12/1 either: he always runs well here and he ran an absolute belter off this perfectly fair mark behind Sceau Royal (winner since) in the Welsh Champion Hurdle.

FIDELIO VALLIS is taken to win the Supreme Trial (3.35pm) at 4/1. He has been quite a work in progress for Paul Nicholls, but I thought he looked much more the real thing at Kempton last time, showing speed and more alacrity with his jumping. As for what he achieved, the winner Mrs Hyde has given the form an enormous boost with her win over Verdana Blue at Kempton.


SAINT ROI can continue his relentless march towards becoming a genuine Champion Hurdle contender by winning the Morgiana (2.10pm) at 8/13. The presence of the redoubtable Supasundae and useful outsider Jason The Militant might well make this a pretty decent test at the trip, which could count against Abacadabras, for whom pure speed is a strong suit. Saint Roi did incredibly well to bolt up in the County Hurdle for one so inexperienced and is very exciting.


DIABLE DE SIVOLA has been about the most frustrating horse in training, but can strike for the first time since his debut four and a half years ago by landing the Southern National (3.15pm) at 6/1. In fairness to him, he has occasionally been highly tried and has travelled well without seeing it out. My theory, however, is that he’s not quite as quick as he thinks he is and just keeps galloping at the one pace. If he stays this trip, he might be able to potter round in his comfort zone without coming off the bridle. He’s easily capable enough off this mark.

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