The Top 40 Prospects continue in decent form with Farouk D'Alene (7/4) making it three wins from three career starts in the concluding bumper at Naas on Sunday. Gordon Elliott's Racinger gelding had won by seventeen lengths on his Rules debut at Down Royal on Boxing Day but this was a much tougher assignment. Contesting a race which has been won by the likes of Outlander, Killultagh Vic and Carefully Selected in previous years, he was given a strong ride by Jamie Codd to beat the same owner's Fire Attack by a head. The five year old was pulled wide by Codd and responded well to regain the advantage close home. While he is likely to be given an entry in the Festival bumper, he is by no means certain to line up at Cheltenham. Either way, he has a bright future and will make a cracking novice hurdler over two and a half miles plus next season.
I hope those clients who subscribed to the February Update took the advice re Any Second Now for the Randox Health Grand National. Ted Walsh's Cheltenham Festival winner was 33/1 at the time of writing but is now as short as 10/1 and vying for second favouritism. A good third at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown this month, the eight year old successfully dropped back to two miles for a Grade 3 chase at Naas. Jumping brilliantly, he wasn't hard pressed to beat Articulum by a length and a quarter with ten lengths back to the third. Interestingly, Walsh used the same event as part of Papillon's prep in 2000 and also Seabass before he finished third behind Neptune Collonges eight years ago. Having tipped Prince De Beaucheme at 33/1 a few years ago and he won the Bobbyjo Chase in February only to pick up an injury on the 1st April and therefore didn't make it to Aintree, I am certainly not going to start counting my chickens. At least we have got a live ante-post bet at this stage. Fingers crossed he is in the line-up on the 4th April.
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