Mullins With a Strong Hand in the Opener
Willie Mullins has a strong hand in the opener and he a runner of interest at an each-way price.
Samcro puts his unbeaten record on the line and his three hurdles wins this season have been visually impressive. Gordon Elliot’s charge looks something special although this race has seen plenty of his type beaten and value hunters may well be forced to look elsewhere.
His main rivals also look to come from Ireland with Next Destination and DUC DE GENIEVRES giving the “away team” a strong hand. Both of those are trained by Willie Mullins and it may be worth siding with Duc De Genievres. The five-year-old had multiple targets for the Festival so it’s interesting that Mullins takes on Samcro again who beat him over two miles last time, but he finished with running left and could well finish closer this time.
Best of the GB runners on form is Black Op and the gelding tops the beforetheoff speed ratings. He finished second on his last run at Cheltenham on Trials Day and he may have won if he had jumped the last more fluently; he could be the type to go on improving.
Vision Des Flos is another to throw into the mix and his form is improving after a mid-season breathing operation that saw him win by thirty-one lengths last time out at Exeter, although he’ll need to improve again to win this.