The Richest Race in Fontwell’s Calendar!
The Class 1 Totepool National Spirit Hurdle with £80,000 prize money attracts some of the country’s best talent! This Grade 2 race in its 52nd year is the most prestigious in our calendar and is supported by an excellent undercard featuring 3 trophies!
48 horses have been declared to run across the 7 races today including 8 top class horses in the Totepool National Spirit Hurdle! See below for Oddschecker’s analysis of the day, race by race!
As De Mee would ideally want a bit further so it’s likely that Sean Bowen will aim to make all from the front. If he’s allowed to get into a decent rhythm, he may prove difficult to reel in but the vote goes to the improving KILCREA VALE, who can take advantage of the 3lb swing in the weights he gets from As De Mee. The remaining two runners both have a chance, but Rock Gone is taken to get in front of Winner Massagot to make up the three.
Tip: KILCREA VALE
An interesting content with a few current, and formerly useful handicap chasers but despite the weight burden, it’s probably worth siding with KING OF GLORY who was beaten narrowly at Sandown last week and should have the class to take this if the race doesn’t come too soon. Thegeegeezgeegee rates as a danger, as does John’s Luck who has been in good form of late (won last time) and is likely to give it a good shot.
Tip: KING OF GLORY
It’s worth noting that LE ROCHER opts to run in this as opposed to some decent handicaps, and from a very good mark based on juvenile form, has a really strong chance. Injuries have held him back (looked like he could have been top-class) but latest win was solid and it could be that he’s coming back to his best. Different Gravey is definitely worth his place in the field but does have some questions to answer back over hurdles now. Lil Rockerfeller is always a dependable competitor and will give everything trying but he may well be outclassed by Le Rocher in this. Adrien Du Pont could well pick up some prizemoney and despite unseating last time, is most likely on an upward curve. L’Ami Serge should also run well, with conditions set to suit, but attitude and lack of willingness to win are off-putting.
Tip: LE ROCHER
SIR ANTONY BROWN is clearly highly-regarded by his stable and his win at Wincanton earlier this month gave the impression that there was a lot more to come. He holds some entries at the Festival which again confirms what the yard expects of him in time. Silent Steps is one to watch for the future but Peak To Peak is probably the most likely candidate to fill second spot today. Gary Moore stable are no doubt disappointed with Crystal Lad and he has a fair bit to prove now.
Tip: SIR ANTONY BROWN
Formerly classy chaser MON PARRAIN should have this wrapped up despite a fairly uninspiring fifth at Taunton in January but may have needed that run and certainly should be well above the field if on a going day. According To Trev is another who could have needed his recent pipe-opener and should fare better today. Current Exchange would want softer conditions and if the weather does change for the worst, he rates the main danger to Mon Parrain.
Tip: MON PARRAIN
GREYED A hasn’t set the world alight so far but it’s possible to excuse poor previous runs (favourite in all four runs but only won once) and a return to left-handed track could help him. The addition of cheekpieces and successful jockey/trainer partnership could help everything to click. Norman The Red is still unexposed and has run well at this track before so isn’t without hope, while the ultra-genuine Ding Ding will give it a really good shot.
Tip: GREYED A
A lot was expected of Sliding Doors on debut in a Musselburgh bumper but greenness was evident which prevented him getting in front. He’s likely to have come on a lot for that run so is an obvious danger, but a chance is taken on PUPPET WARRIOR who filled the runner-up spot in his two starts to date and this track with more emphasis on stamina could help him to get the job done. Larry looks to be most interesting of the newcomers but Golden Sunrise cost a pretty penny and hales from a yard in rude health
Tip: PUPPET WARRIOR
Fontwell’s showpiece fixture of the year, featuring the National Spirit Hurdle, returns with a seven-race card this Sunday afternoon. Former Grand National contender, and two-time Cheltenham Festival winner, Mon Parrain will take all the beating in the Hunters’ Chase (16:00). He was disappointing when sent off an 85/40fav last time at Taunton but he may well have needed the run on that occasion, returning from a lengthy absence, and he should be able to outclass his rivals here, despite carrying top weight. The classy Mendip Express won a similar renewal of this race last year for the Phillip Hobbs team with today’s jockey on board.
In the feature race on the card (15:00), it’s particularly interesting that Le Rocher (nap) steps up into this Grade having looked a good thing for a handicap off a mark of 143. Having missed the best part of three seasons, patience appears to be paying off for the Nick Williams yard and the arrival of Tom Scudamore in the saddle looks like another positive for the seven-year-old, who ought to enjoy the forecast rain-affected ground.
The main danger is likely to be Different Gravy, who was disappointing last time out when finishing well-beaten, having been backed into odds-on, but he can be forgiven one poor run. Lil Rockerfeller is going for back-to-back wins in the race but he hasn’t looked quite the same horse this year and after a disappointing performance at Cheltenham last time out, looks opposable at the likely short price.
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