Bryan Cooper: My eye is immediately drawn to Sutton Manor off his light weight
This Listed novice hurdle looks a good race and I genuinely wouldn’t be in a rush to rule out of any them. Not so long ago the talk was that Cilaos Emery may have been Willie’s Supreme horse but Mick Jazz sets a fair standard in here and the rest are all unexposed last time out winners. I wouldn’t like to call this one at all.
We have two in here and, while Argentino is back on a fair mark, my eye is immediately drawn to Sutton Manor off his light weight. I won on him over 2m2f at Wexford in November and I thought he shaped pretty well when fourth over 3m at Leopardstown last time. I think he is improving as he gains experience and I think there is more to come from him, and Rachael takes 5lb off as well.
You never look far beyond Enda in these races but if First Lieutenant takes to the Cross Country fences then of course he has the talent. He is getting on a bit now, though, and it is nearly four years since I won the Grade 1 at Aintree on him in 2013.
We have Be The Hero and Brightest Flame in here. Things didn’t go to plan for either last time but this doesn’t look the strongest Beginners Chase – Velocity Boy is probably the one to beat – and they both have the ability to win if getting their act together and putting in a decent round of jumping.
Irish National fourth Folsom Blue is definitely weighted to go close if returning to his best and he is tried in a tongue tie along with the cheek pieces, while the same is pretty much true of Roi Des Francs and Captain Von Trappe. It would have been tough picking between the three, all of which have to step up a fair bit on recent runs.
Judgement Day cost a fair bit after winning his point and he shaped well when second at Limerick last time. I would hope and expect he will be able to improve upon that run but this looks a decent little race.
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