London – Supasundae can spring a minor surprise by lifting the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle, one of the feature events on Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday.
Paisley Park has been all the rage ahead of the 4800m event and certainly merits the highest respect after going unbeaten so far this term, but Supasundae might be the one to throw a spanner in the works – especially with upsets being a feature of this year’s Festival thus far.
Jessica Harrington’s charge chased home Penhill in this race 12 months ago, just being tapped for toe up the hill by the speedier winner.
He has been unfortunate to clash with the excellent Apple’s Jade twice so far this season, while his second to Sharjah over 3200m at Christmas perhaps shows he is not quite sharp enough for the minimum trip now.
Supasundae remains pretty unexposed at this 4800m distance and, while the heart would love to see a final hurrah for the admirable Faugheen, the head says the Harrington runner might be the better value bet.
Road To Respect tackles the Ryanair Chase in preference to the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the hint should be taken.
Noel Meade’s runner did not appear to get home when fourth in the main event last term and, with the ground likely to be testing again, it makes sense to switch back in trip.
Road To Respect impressed with a Grade 1 win over 4800m on his return in November, but he suffered a troubled passage when a creditable third to Kemboy in the Savills Chase at Christmas, while Bellshill found a little extra when holding him by a short head in the Irish Gold Cup.
Road To Respect’s jumping let him down a bit at Leopardstown that day, but connections felt the good ground had not helped on that front and he should be much more at home on this surface.
Lostintranslation can reverse Sandown form with Defi Du Seuil in the JLT Novices’ Chase.
The pair are evenly matched and the score stands at one-all, with Lostintranslation having prevailed in the Dipper here on New Year’s Day, while Defi Du Seuil grabbed Grade 1 honours in the Scilly Isles last time.
Lostintranslation hardly helped his cause with a mixed round of jumping at the Esher track, but given he was conceding 1.5kg it does not require a great leap of faith to envisage Colin Tizzard’s runner turning that result around.
Epatante has been the buzz horse for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle and can prove a worthy favourite.
A Grade 1 bumper winner in France, she has triumphed on each of her two starts to date in Britain, although she has not beaten too much in the process.
That said, Nicky Henderson’s runner could do little more than win and there is no doubt she has the requisite class.
Romain De Senam can defy his likely long odds in the Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase after a decent effort at Kempton recently and is worth at least an Eachway bet.
Flemcara could be the one in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle and is certainly worth Eachway at odds of 20-1, while The Young Master can improve on last year’s sixth place in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase.
He has been off the track since December, but his earlier form has worked out quite well, with Chepstow second Traffic Fluide going on to land a Grade 3 and put himself in the Grand National shake-up. – Press Association