Exclusive Champion Chase Day preview from Tom Scudamore
13:30 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
It has been a good start to the Festival for Willie Mullins following El Fabiolo’s victory in the Arkle, and I really like his horse IMPAIRE ET PASSE. I love the angle of these horses stepping up in trip to win this race. If you look back through history, this race has a better record of producing Champion Hurdle winners than the Supreme.
I’ve got a lot of time for Hermes Allen, but could you see him dropping down in trip to the win Champion Hurdle next season? I don’t think so. Impaire Et Passe looks like a fabulous horse, and I think he will be hard to beat.
I know you should never go with hunches, but there is just something niggling me about Gerri Colombe, who, don’t get me wrong, is a fantastic horse. It was a great performance around Sandown, but I just think he is vulnerable here.
As ever, this is a fantastic race. There are so many with a chance. I can see why Camprond is fancied, as he fits the right profile for this contest.
Johnson White has made a good shout about SPORTING JOHN. I know things have not gone right for him this season, but he is going to have a different type of headgear on here. He is dangerously well handicapped on his best form.
He is a Grade 1 winner over fences. I like graded horses who are dropping back down into handicap company, as they often have something up their sleeves.
15:30 Queen Mother Champion Chase
I am all over EDWARDSTONE in the Champion Chase. I rode in the Clarence House Chase earlier this year where he finished second. I think if they had their time again, Tom Cannon and Paul Townend would do things differently on their horses. The race didn’t work out for them and Editeur Du Gite was a good winner on the day.
I think this time the race will suit Edwardstone more. This is a stiffer test, and he will be staying on strongly. He is my NAP of the day.
16:10 Cross Country Chase
Normally I wouldn’t be going for a horse who is having its first run in the Cross Country Chase, as I have always thought you need some experience around this course. However, from what I have been told, GALVIN has been working well when he has had a spin around this course.
I have a lot of time for Delta Work. He shot Bambi last year when he beat Tiger Roll on his farewell party. The defending champion has to be respected, but Galvin was the second favourite for the Gold Cup last year, and I think he will have that little more class.
16:50 Grand Annual
I think this race is going to go to Coral Racing Club trainer Joe Tizzard. I like the way ELIXIR DE NUTZ has been going.
He ran a great race in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury last month. Just like I mentioned earlier, horses that are good enough to compete in graded races and then drop back down to handicap races always must be respected. I think this race will suit him, as you need a horse who is going to be tough to win a Grand Annual.
17:30 Champion Bumper
I like the way A Dream To Share won at Leopardstown last time out, but I’d just be a little bit concerned about him, as he is Flat-bred, so the conditions might just be a little against him, especially if there is a lot of rain overnight. If it is softer ground, I can see Fact To File reversing the form with him.
I rode ENCANTO BRUNO to victory at this course on his last start. I think they have only scratched the surface with this horse and he has a great chance here.
Tom Scudamore, Coral Racing Ambassador