MASTER trainer Philip Hobbs can be launched back into the big Thyme this afternoon.
It is three years since Hobbs last tasted success at the meeting with Defi Du Seuil.
Chappers reckons Thyme Hill can win the Stayers[/caption]
And he has a gilt-edged chance of ending that drought with THYME HILL in the Stayers’.
I’ve long thought this horse is the one for the Day Three feature, under the excellent Tom O’Brien.
The Aintree winner was fourth to Monkfish in the 2020 Albert Bartlett and should have won that day as Richard Johnson had a bit of a shocker. This season Thyme Hill returned with a poor run in France and then a fine second to Champ in the Long Walk.
He has been laid out for this and stays really strongly, which is key. He should handle the ground even though I’m sure Hobbsy is glad we’re forecast a dry day today.
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Paisley Park is a threat, even more so in testing conditions and it won’t bother defending champ Flooring Porter who is clearly talented but quirky.
We have only got four runners in the opener — and two of them need the other two to fall to have a chance. I take GALOPIN DES CHAMPS (1.30) to enjoy and uncontested lead and see off Bob Olinger.
Last year’s Martin Pipe winner has looked a natural over fences and he should be very hard to catch under Paul Townend.
Thankfully the Pertemps is more competitive and I’ll take a chance here with the big-priced THIRD WIND (2.10) for Hughie Morrison and that man O’Brien.
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My hope was fourth in this in 2020 behind Sire Du Berlais and loves to run at a strong pace.
He was off a mark of 141 that day and is back on 141 with a lovely racing weight. He ran all right behind Wholestone at Haydock last time and at the odds is worth chancing for a few quid.
ALLAHO is ready for lift off in the Ryanair Chase (2.50).
He was outstanding in this race for Willie Mullins last year and there is no reason why he won’t repeat the dose. He was an easy winner at Thurles last time and will be very hard to catch.
SPIRITOFTHEGAMES will be huge odds for the 4.10 but might sneak into the frame.
I tipped him up each-way last time when he was a fine third at Cheltenham at decent odds and he loves this track.
He’ll be staying on strongly and loves a decent pace to run at. He has been dropped 1lb since that last effort and might surprise a few people.
It was only a little race DINOBLUE (4.50) won at Clonmel, but she did it in style — 15 lengths to be exact — and I have a feeling owner JP McManus will be very hopeful about her chances.
She could be an absolute monster in this grade.
COME ON TEDDY can toy with his rivals in the amateur jockeys’ race (5.30).
He is unexposed over fences may be suited to this test for Alex Hales and William Biddick.
He finished third in the been third in a Pertemps last year and seems to jump fences well enough. Stamina is no issue and he could be well handicapped.
Meanwhile, if you thought the Champion Chase was dramatic, that’s nothing to the journey the winning owner Tony Bloom had as he tried to get to the Amex last night!
Energumene gave Bloom — the Brighton owner — a huge Cheltenham win but the drama really came afterwards. First his helicopter was grounded due to the terrible weather conditions.
So he decided to head off to East Sussex by car.
His initial ETA was 7.40pm. Kick-off for his beloved Brighton against Tottenham was 7.30pm.
Then it got a lot worse.
The M25 was closed.
His ETA then became 8pm.
Bloom joked he had asked for the kick-off to be delayed.
But not even the great Tony Bloom can sort that one out.
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