Early Bird – 18th April

A couple of places from Donncha and Accession somewhat saved the day after the other two were a little disappointing.

1:50 Newmarket – Shanghai Glory

Decent record in a lower grade over 6f on ground with ease in it. Not quite shined as well on the bigger stage, though has yet to have things fall its way to be fair. 5th in the Stewards Cup when not getting the best of runs and 3rd in the Great St Wilfred, winning the race on its side but finishing third overall. Handicapper has dropped it three pounds from the last time it was seen and looks as though connections mean business with the booking of Buick for the ride. Yard has started in fine form this season and this could well continue it.

1pt win Shanghai Glory @ 13/2 widely available

5:55 Newmarket – Bow Street

Lightly raced with just the three runs, the last of those an a/w novice win in which the third has franked that form well by winning well next time. Very well bred, you imagine there will be plenty more to come from it with the right connections, with a mark of 92 looking very managable. Some equally unexposed runners for big yards also but this has seen a bit of money which can be rewarded.

1pt win Bow Street @ 7/1 Coral

2:40 Cheltenham – Shantou Village

Cracking handicap chase for midweek in which Frodon would make a lot of appeal, though I do feel that it has had enough racing this year judged on its showing at the Festival. Having to concede a lot of weight all round therefore it can be taken on. Shantou Village has a cracking strike rate of 7/11 but is a perfect 6 from 6 outside of class 1. Seems to get found out at a higher level, it goes well fresh and having been off for most of the winter it has not been over raced. The better the ground the better its chances and with the yard going well it has a good chance.

3:15 Cheltenham – Diable De Sivola & Mister Miyagi

Bit frustrated that both horses are as short as they are, especially Mister Miyagi who I hoped would go under the radar when I saw it entered. Both are actually horses I noted at last seasons Festival which considering it was run on good to soft ground then there is a good chance it can be replicated here. Diable De Sivola was 5th in the Fred Winter however that didn’t look anywhere near likely when still only 17th turning for home. Ran on really well though to be beaten just over 6 lengths. Looks best with a strong pace so it can come late, it has ideal conditions here and with the yard confidence high after Cheltenham success then this can go close.

Mister Miyagi was last seen in the 2017 renewal of the Coral Cup, finishing only midfield. That doesn’t tell the full story though as it was closed off at the start before subsequently getting badly hampered in midfield losing its position. Wasn’t given too much of a hard time after that and has since switched to the very shrewd Stuart Edmunds yard. Ground is ideal and has twice won round this course. Handicapper has taken a massive chance by dropping it 7lb. Certainly believe if fit and well for first run in almost 400 days then it has a decent shout.

1pt e/w Diable De Sivola @ 10/1 Coral 1/5th odds 5 places

0.75pt win Mister Miyagi @ 9/1 Bet365, Boyle, Coral, Ladbrokes and BetVictor