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Punter Power


YOUR best chance of beating the bookies this week is to stick with Sportsmail’s brilliant team of tipsters, led all the way through the Festival by National Hunt legend Peter Scudamore and former Grade One winning jockeys Lizzie Kelly and Mick Fitzgerald. . . Peter Scudamore 8-TIME CHAMPION JOCKEY

GORDON ELLIOTT-trained THREE CARD BRAG (2.50) is the novice hurdler I have most been looking forward to seeing this week and he is my pick for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

He has been running well over two-and-a-half miles, but doing it in a style which shouts that he will be better when upped to this afternoon’s three-mile trip.

He is also proven on soft ground, so should cope with anything thrown at him today.

Adrian Heskin’s mount easily beat Spanish Harlem — who runs in the concluding Martin Pipe Conditiona­l


TRAINER Willie Mullins is responsibl­e for seven of the 15 runners in the JCB Triumph Hurdle — it should almost be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission — and he can take the race with LOSSIEMOUT­H (1.30). Lossiemout­h had triumphed in France before he arrived at the Mullins stable and then easily won at Fairyhouse and Leopardsto­wn in December.

She was beaten by stablemate Gala Marceau — who reopposes today — in the Grade One Juvenile Hurdle at last month’s Dublin Racing Festival but she had really bad luck in running and still almost rescued victory when making up loads of ground from a hopeless position. Stable jockey Paul Townend has chosen to ride Lossiemout­h and, let’s face it, he


CORBETTS CROSS (2.50) has won over two miles and stays three miles, and not many in this Albert Bartlett field can say that. He looks a cut above the rest.

I was really taken with BLOOD DESTINY (1.30) when he won at Cork. Paul Townend has opted to ride Lossiemout­h after an unlucky run at Leopardsto­wn but it must have been a tough choice and I’m with the former in the opener.

FILEY BAY (2.10) was unfortunat­e to finish second in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last month. He is a little higher in the handicap now, which is not ideal, but he could still be improving.

Henry de Bromhead’s CHRISS DREAM (4.10) has won a couple of point-to-points and that should set him up nicely for the Hunters’ Chase.

Marcus Townend CAPTAIN HEATH

WILLIE MULLINS has won two of the last three runnings of the McCoy Contractor­s County Handicap Hurdle with up-and-coming novices and he unleashes another one today in the shape of HUNTERS YARN (2.10).

Mullins was successful with Saint Roi in 2020 and State Man last year. The latter finished runner-up to Festival wonder horse Constituti­on Hill in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday.

Were he in any other stable, Hunters Yarn would probably have run in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on day one. But such is the strength in depth that Mullins possesses, he can shuffle his pack. Hunters Yarn was a comfortabl­e winner of a Listed Novices’ Hurdle at Navan last month and it is hard for the handicappe­r to assess him.

Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle — on his last start at Fairyhouse.

His run before that produced a second place behind Inthepocke­t at Naas and that opponent didn’t harm the form when he was a very creditable fourth in Tuesday’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. was spoilt for choice. She also receives a valuable 7lb mares’ allowance.

In the McCoy Contractor­s County Handicap Hurdle, I am really keen on FIRST STREET (2.10). He was third in the race last year and has had treatment to help his breathing since a below-par run last time.

Allegorie de Vassy is fancied in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase but she jumps badly right, which doesn’t suit at this track. IMPERVIOUS (4.50) is a rock-solid jumper and she’ll handle the ground, too. COOL SURVIVOR (5.30) is unexposed and has to be a huge player with brilliant young pilot Sam Ewing on board.

In the Boodles Gold Cup, it goes against the grain to pick a horse who pulled up last time, but I can’t forget how easily

A PLUS TARD (3.30) won last year. There were reasons for that poor last run. A prep race would have been preferable, but horses trained by Henry de Bromhead have been running well and Rachael Blackmore can bring it home again.

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