We begin with Grade 1 action in the Kauto Star Chase where I like the chances of THE BIG BREAKAWAY .
The five-year-old has a solid CV with three wins and a second from five runs and also put in a decent effort when fourth in last year’s Ballymore.
He was slightly disappointing last time out at Exeter when he lost out to Bold Plan, but I’m optimistic he can bounce back in style here.
I always enjoy this competitive chase and I’m going for an each-way punt on BEAU BAY .
He was disappointing here in November but responded emphatically, winning the Sefton by five lengths in a fantastic jumping display.
A course winner at this meeting on Boxing Day last year is nice form and is well handicapped at 11-2, so I think he’ll be right up there.
We’re going across to Ireland now for another competitive handicap chase, where I think Joseph O’Brien’s A WAVE OF THE SEA has a big shout.
He has course form, having finished third in the Grade 2 Knight Frank Juvenile last Boxing Day and then won a Grade 1 here in February.
A dominant display on his chasing debut at Kilbeggan was followed by a respectable third at Punchestown, but he was well out his depth in Grade 2 company last time out.
The drop in class should help here and with the reliable JJ Slevin on board, I’m hoping he’s got an each-way chance.
I think CYRNAME will reverse last year’s form here and win the battle between the Nicholls’ pair.
His victory over Altior last year solidified his status as the best chaser in the world, but ran out of stamina in this race last year and ended up 21 lengths behind Clan Des Obeaux.
He was very impressive on his return to claim the Charlie Hall Chase and I think answered any questions over jumping and stamina so is my main pick here.
I am going to have an each-way bet on WAITING PATIENTLY as well.
This horse has had a frustrating last two years with injuries and was last seen finishing third in the 2019 Tingle Creek where he finished like an absolute train.
He finished well behind CYRNAME in the 2019 Ascot Chase and was desperately unlucky when unseating Brian Hughes in the 2018 King George.
I think he needs a bigger trip so interested to see how he copes on return.
SWITCH HITTER ODDS:65905032015/2 really impressed me last time out, winning over course and distance, and I think he will do so again.
He beat a strong field that day including Vegas Blue and Malinello – who responded well to beat Only The Bold by 12 lengths at Market Rasen last time out.
That’s a nice form boost and with Bryony Frost on board, I think he’s got a great chance.
THE BIG BREAKAWAY | CYRNAME
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