C'est Ca worthy of a little faith
After yesterday's coup with Albertas Run, I'm looking around for some more value and Willie Mullins' C'est Ca in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle looks to be the one.
I don't normally like tipping Irish horses in handicaps as they are often heavily weighted, but the six-year-old ran into a very creditable third place in the MCR at Leopardstown in January and that was his first run back after injury, so he might just have slipped under the radar a little.
David Pipe has Ashkazar in the race, while a former employee of the Pipe yard, Gordon Elliott, has a serious contender for honours in the race in Meath All Star.
In the day's opening race, Carlito Brigante is expected to score for Elliott by many of the Irish punters, but Paul Nicholls' Advisor gets my vote as the best of the home team's entries.
Like many of the races on today's card, it's very open, but I've no problem opposing Alaivan, which is likely to go off favourite as he seems to run very free.
Sleeping Star is another which will welcome a bit of give in the ground but, in a race that has been known to throw up surprises, Ruby Walsh gets a cautious vote to score again with Advisor.
The second race of the day is even more of a raffle. With almost 30 runners in the field, you're going to need a nice slice of luck to get a clear run throughout to be in contention.
I rode Tawaag to second in the MCR hurdle and today I'm on Tarkari, which was fourth in the same race, so I'm hoping to be in the shake-up.
Elsewhere in the field, it's eye-catching that Ruby rides for Paul Nicholls when Willie Mullins has three in the race, but Rock Noir was a very decent horse in France and I think he'll be well able to carry top weight around. The Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle can be secured by Quel Esprit.
Once Mullins confirmed he would run despite falling here earlier in the week, he caught my fancy. I would have had a slight concern about the ground, but the rain will work in his favour too. I ride Fionnegas, which was second behind Dunguib last time out, and he's capable of a good run and should stay the trip.
There's not much more that can be said about the Gold Cup. Like almost everyone else, Kauto Star is the one for me.
Supporters of Denman will like to see the rain but, more importantly, it doesn't seem to make too much difference to Kauto either way. Look to Cooldine to run to a place. He won the RSA last year over nearly the same distance so I expect him to be staying on again.
The Foxhunter is another open race but Roulez Cool for Robert Waley-Cohen gets my vote as I have heard some good things about him. In the last race of the festival, Nicky Henderson has a happy knack of winning the race named in honour of his father.
He has You're The Top, a promising novice, in this one, which Barry Geraghty has chosen to ride over top-weight French Opera.
2.05 Rock Noir
2.40 Quel Esprit
3.20 Kauto Star NAP
4.0 Roulez Cool
4.40 C'est Ca NB
5.15 You're The Top