History has proven the Festival to be a ruthless environment where only the toughest, most talented survive. This week will be no different. Some hotpots will enhance already lofty reputations while, for others, the bubble will burst. As ever, the challenge is what to trust and what to oppose, writesmakes his picks.
IT can’t be pleasant, reading your own obituary, but jockey Declan Murphy’s injuries were so severe after falling at Haydock Park in 1994 that the Racing Post subsequently led with the headline ‘Declan Murphy Dies After Horror Fall’.
While Vautour failed to read the script when crashing out on his first visit to Aintree, there were no such problems for Douvan as he stamped his authority over his rivals in the manner only he know how with a decisive success in the Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase.
While a win in the Queen Mother Champion Chase may have so far eluded trainer Willie Mullins, his chances of addressing that rare omission from his CV moved a step nearer after Un De Sceaux gave further notice he is fast becoming the complete package with victory in the Sodexo Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday.
Un De Sceaux, last season’s top novice, heads a list of 10 entries for the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase on Saturday but won’t face a showdown with Sprinter Sacre at Sandown after Nicky Henderson withdrew the nine-year-old from the race.