Steve Mullen guides you through Friday’s racing from the Punchestown Festival, Doncaster, Sandown, Perth, Huntingdon and Chepstow
MY TENT OR YOURS can finally land the big prize he deserves in the Champion Hurdle (5.30).
This game 10-year-old keeps running massive races at the highest level and coming home in second place — to a stablemate.
He came right back to his best to finish second to Buveur D’Air in the Cheltenham version of this, with three lengths back to the third home Petit Mouchoir who runs today.
The same horse got the better of him again in the Aintree Hurdle last time and it took another smart performance to lower his colours.
There’s no horse of Buveur D’Air class in the line-up this year and he looks overpriced despite being asked to go to the well for the third time this season.
We know he has no problem with this trip and has enough zip to deal with the tight hurdles track. The ground won’t be a problem and he should be right there again.
The biggest danger could well be defending champion Vroum Vroum Mag. Granted, this looks a much stronger renewal than 12 months ago but she was a solid second in the Grade 1 mares’ hurdle at Cheltenham last time and won’t be far away.
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The Champion Novice Hurdle at 6.05 looks wide open too and can go the way of FINIAN’S OSCAR.
Colin Tizzard could train the stable cat to win a race given his excellent form since sweeping all before him at Aintree.
He’s already had a winner here this week and Finian’s Oscar looks destined for the very top.
The five-year-old has already achieved plenty with the highlight being his runaway success in the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree last time out.
That was his second top-class win of the season after taking the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown in January.
The win at Liverpool proves he can see out this 2m4f trip while the Tolworth victory underlines how much zip he has, with that race being run over shorter.
He looks capable of taking a hand in the top hurdling contests next term and can end the season on a high by winning this.
On The Fringe goes for an amazing fifth win in the Champion Hunters Chase (6.40) but his form seems to have dipped a little this season.
He could manage only fourth at Cheltenham when backed off the boards and let his supporters down again when pulled up early on in the Aintree Foxhunter.
Maybe at 12 he’s just tipped past his best — or maybe he’ll run away with this and leave me eating those words.
Either way, BALNASLOW impressed when second over the big fences at Liverpool and should be right on the premises again.
He didn’t get the best run around the National course there and was forced out wide, which might be why he couldn’t go one place better.
He finished one place behind On The Fringe at Cheltenham and comes here with a live chance at likely double the price of his main rival.
The day’s sport kicks off with another hunter chase at 3.40 and ENNISKILLEN can land his second win of the week for us.
He had a bit more left in the tank than a one-length success would suggest on Tuesday and this drop back from 3m shouldn’t be an issue.
That opening win was over the banks course but he’s just as happy jumping conventional fences and has a host of point-to-point wins under his belt.
Jamie Codd has been riding out of his skin this week and is worth half a stone in these amateur rider contests.
Shin A Vee will be his biggest rival as he bids to win this for the third year on the spin. He’s 14 now and has a double penalty to shoulder, which has to be a worry.
He is doing his usual tactic of coming back from a year off the track which has worked for his other two wins, so don’t worry about that long absence.
IAN RIDE RIDE RIDE
Legendary jockey Tony McCoy puts Arsenal legend Ian Wright’s horse Born To Finish through its paces
Annie Power does not feature in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle declarations for Friday
RACING CARDS & RESULTS
Get the cards and the full and fast results from Wednesday’s meet at Newcastle
William Haggas reports Mutakayyef will miss the Lockinge and head to Royal Ascot instead
RACING CARDS & RESULTS
Get the cards and the full and fast results from Wednesday’s meet at Southwell
Gordon Elliott is hoping Labaik is in the right mood for the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle
Willie Mullins admits Mega Fortune was the better horse on the day as Bapaume could only manage second in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle
ALL ON UPSWING
Matt Chapman’s horse racing tips for ITV’s racing from Sandown Park and Wolverhampton
Cheltenham to restrict alcohol this year after drunken racegoers’ antics at recent festivals
1.50 Atty Persse
2.20 Royal Artillery
2.55 Monarchs Glen
3.30 Kool Kompany
4.05 Queen In Waiting
4.35 Fashion Theory
1.40 Bush House
2.10 Favourite Treat
2.45 Bahamian Bird
3.20 Desert Rain
3.55 Accidental Agent
4.30 Stake Acclaim
5.05 Fever Few
5.40 Mr Cripps
4.20 Balko Des Flos
4.55 Definite Ruby
5.30 My Tent Or Yours
6.30 Finian’s Oscar
7.10 Riven Light
2.00 River Icon
2.35 Arctic Gold
3.45 Hurricane Ivan
4.50 Monsieur Jourdain
5.15 La Bague Au Roi
5.45 Conteur d’Histoire
6.50 Bronco Billy
8.00 Blackwood Rover
4.45 Master Dancer
5.20 Dance In The Dust
5.55 Such A Legend