Grand National: Le Breuil
This years Grand National is all about one horse.
Just like Red Rum in the 1970s, the whole sport is willing Tiger Roll to hit the headlines with a third win.
We havent seen the Gigginstown great since his emphatic Aintree win 12 months ago but, if things go smoothly in the Cross-Country Chase at Cheltenham, who is going to stop him?
His 6-1 towering presence at the head of the betting means there are plenty of good each-way prices on offer.
I was impressed with Walk In The Mill when he won the Becher Chase last time and the general 20-1 about him hitting the frame as he did last year looks fair.
One with a place shout at a massive 40-1 is LE BREUIL.
He had his first sight of the big fences in the Becher and jumped them nicely. He was running on at the end of the 3m2f trip and the extra mile of the big race could suit.
Gold Cup: Al Boum Photo
The Gold Cup was looking pretty confusing until AL BOUM PHOTO came back this week with an effortless win at Tramore.
That catapulted him to the head of the betting at around 5-1 and he looks the one to beat. He has had just ten chase starts so could have more to offer.
Kemboy ran well enough in the Savills Chase at Leopardstowns Christmas meeting and hes likely to improve.
But so is his stablemate and its a worry he has yet to win at Cheltenham in three attempts.
Clan Des Obeaux had his moment in the sun when winning the King George where Lostintranslation blotted his copybook.
Santini had to battle when winning at Sandown but can come on for that and is no forlorn hope at 10s.
Champion Hurdle: Pentland Hills
Epatante looks a worthy favourite after her impressive Christmas Hurdle win. But theres no point getting stuck into the 2-1 on offer.
Its a shame to see the talented Honeysuckle being aimed at the Mares Hurdle at the Festival instead, as her easy Fairyhouse win last month would put her in the frame for this. Taking the 11-1 on offer is too risky as shes not a likely runner.
Klassical Dream has something to prove now, while there are injury doubts about Saldier.
One horse who could be overpriced is PENTLAND HILLS at 9-1.
He travelled well on his comeback until fading in the closing strides. With many Nicky Henderson horses needing the run, he could improve a bundle next time.
Templegate reckons he’s got a few winners up his sleeve
Pinatubo looks nailed on for the 2,000 Guineas and hes Derby favourite, too, but there must be some doubt about him getting that trip.
Kameko was impressive when winning the Futurity at Newcastle but second home INNISFREE looked a nice prospect and is bred to relish a mile and a half. Hes a fair price at 25-1.
Mares Novice Hurdle: Maries Rock
At 10-1, Nicky Hendersons mare looks a cracking bet.
She scorched home to win a Listed contest at Taunton on Monday and has massive potential.
Champion Hurdle: Pentland Hills
If Benie Des Dieux lined up I would not rule her out at all as she is a class act for Willie Mullins.
But she is one for no runner no bet rules. The value rests with last years Triumph Hurdle and Aintree winner, PENTLAND HILLS.
At about 9-1 he looks a fair each-way bet, having travelled strongly on his return in the International Hurdle.
He jumps well and the stronger the gallop the better.
Champion Chase: Min
So much depends on Altior, with the defending champ on the easy list after his return defeat at Ascot over a longer trip.
If he runs I would expect him to win, but I advise an each-way ante-post bet on MIN.
He landed the John Durkan Memorial last time and will be hard to kick out the frame at Cheltenham, despite a tame fifth in the race in 2019.
Stayers Hurdle: Paisley Park
Emma Lavelles ace is the standout at this trip. The 2019 hero has the ideal running style for a staying hurdler and there is nothing out there to touch him.
Lump on at 11-8 Im confident he will be odds-on come the day. Horses can get injured, thats the risk of betting, but other than a setback he looks unstoppable.
Gold Cup: Native River
Some time ago I suggested a few quid each-way at 25-1 on the former Gold Cup hero and I still believe he is the value of the race as a 16-1 chance who stays all day. Just pray for mud on the day.
Grand National: Anibale Fly
Entries are not yet out so a lot of guesswork is needed, but ANIBALE FLY looks a fair ante-post bet at 33-1.
I imagine everything will be geared towards the big race after his fifth in 2019.
On that basis I am not worried Tony Martins hope has not beaten a horse home in two efforts in December.
1,000 Guineas: Quadrilateral
She might be favourite, but shes a decent price at 6-1.
She stayed on really strongly for Roger Charlton in the Fillies Mile and can only do better as a three-year-old.
There was a bit of Oh So Sharp about her at Newmarket, and those of you with long memories will remember that filly landing the Fillies Mile back in the 80s before Classic success.
2,000 Guineas: Kameko
I am in no doubt Pinatubo will be hard to beat, but an each-way bet could be Andrew Baldings runner, who ended 2019 with victory in the Group 1 Futurity.
This horse chased home Kameko at Newcastle and being by Galileo, he could well turn into a Derby contender.
Everything about his running style suggests further than a mile will suit and he might not have liked the all-weather.
His success in the Beresford Stakes last year showed hes tough and has ability.
Hes 25-1 and worth a pound or two each-way. Expect to see him in a Derby trial at Chester.
RSA Novice Chase: Allaho
The best value bet at the Cheltenham Festival must be Willie Mullins ALLAHO.
He shaped well on his chasing debut and never stopped galloping exactly what you want to see in an RSA prospect.
Derby: Military March
Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has been desperate for a Classic prospect and his unbeaten MILITARY MARCH has Derby contender written all over him.
LAY: Tiger Roll (Grand National)
Can Tiger Roll really surpass the great Red Rum by winning a third National?
He is the nearest we have came to a Liverpool horse since, but even Rummy found a genuine Gold Cup horse too much when trying to give weight to LEscargot in 1975.
A similar task awaits the Tiger who may have to give weight to horses like Anibale Fly, Native River and Presenting Percy.
He also suffered a setback this season far from an ideal preparation.
Champion Hurdle: Epatante
Its hard to look away from the extremely exciting EPATANTE.
She was a cosy winner of the Christmas Hurdle on Boxing Day, quickening nicely after the last, and could be another star for Seven Barrows.
She seems to love all types of conditions and on all evidence to date youd have to fancy her in what looks a weak race on paper.
Gold Cup: Lostintranslation
Im a big fan of Colin Tizzards battalion.
The man knows the time of day and is sure to have LOSTINTRANSLATION primed for a big display, despite his disappointing effort on Boxing Day.
He has plenty of ability, he jumps and he stays, and now looks too big a price.
Its hard to make much of Native Rivers appearance at Aintree as his main rival Might Bite fell early on, but he showed enough razzmatazz to suggest hes back to his very best too.
Grand National: Regal Encore
At a massive price, I can see REGAL ENCORE running a huge race.
He was so game to win at Ascot last time out and jockey Richie McLernon has gone close before in the Grand National when sporting the green and gold of JP McManus on Sunnyhillboy.
Another I like is Potters Corner.
Well have to wait and see where Christian Williams places him in 2020, but as a Welsh National and Midlands National winner we know he has a bottomless pit of stamina.
Hes up 10lb for last weeks Chepstow victory but he looked the real deal then and it would be an amazing story if he could land the big one too.
1,000 Guineas: Powerful Breeze
POWERFUL BREEZE is a proper filly for Hugo Palmer.
She was beaten by ante-post favourite Quadrilateral in the Fillies Mile but should have won that race and there could be some value in her at 10-1.
Its got to be ENABLE, hasnt it?
The Queen has been kept in training for another season and its fantastic she has another chance of creating history.
Shes a six-year-old now but John Gosden is sure to get her to Paris fit and well.
If she won, its racing that would be the real winner.
Ballymore Novices Hurdle: The Big Breakaway
This horse has the lot: speed, size and ability and has shown it in only two runs.
He cost E360,000 but has shown he could be worth the investment with dominant wins at Chepstow and Newbury.
Champion Chase: A Plus Tard
Derby: Brentford Hope
Flat jockeys title: Tom Marquand
BOOKIES – DAVIDSTEVENS:CORAL
Earthlight: 2,000 Guineas
Godolphin had a brilliant 2019 with juveniles, and Pinatubo is a worthy favourite for the Guineas, Derby and probably the Boat Race and Tour De France as well!
However, he could face his toughest task to date if fellow unbeaten Godolphin colt EARTHLIGHT lines up against him at Newmarket in the first Classic.
Trained by the maestro Andre Fabre, Earthlight made it five from five on the Rowley Mile in the Middle Park and can take advantage should the favourite fall short in May.
Elegant Escape: Grand National
Tiger Roll is far too short to back, so instead Im having a few quid on Elegant Escape at 25-1.
Colin Tizzards runner has won a Coral Welsh National, wasnt beaten far in the Gold Cup, stays forever and is a sound jumper.
LAY: Presenting Percy (Gold Cup)
RUPERT ADAMS:WILLIAM HILL
Riders Onthe Storm: Ryanair
Powerful Breeze: 1,000 Guineas
LAY: Abacadabras (Supreme)
LAY: Altior (any Chelt race)
LAY: Paisley Park (Stayers)
This son of Galileo wont reach his full potential until tackling the Derby trip.
The switch of the Vertem Futurity to Newcastles all-weather didnt play to his strengths so forgive him a fourth-place finish on his final run. He will be a force over middle-distances in 2020.
Any Second Now: Grand National
With Tiger Roll sure to go off favourite should he get there it will pay to seek value elsewhere.
ANY SECOND NOW won the Kim Muir last year and Ted Walsh looks to be readying this one for a crack at the greatest race.
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle: Sporting John
LAY: Pinatubo (2,000 Guineas)
PAUL BINFIELD: PADDY POWER
Paisley Park: Stayers Hurdle
A price of 6-4 for a race more than two months away would look skinny enough, but Paisley Park looks bombproof.
Surely the only thing that can possibly stop him gaining a second crown is an unfortunate injury.
He may not be flashy but he does have total control of this division.
LAY: Pinatubo (Derby)
He won all six starts including the Dewhurst by two lengths from Arizona.
But his 7-1 at the head of the Derby market doesnt look that attractive considering Arizonas trainer Aidan OBrien is likely to have many more regally-bred contenders to take the jolly on.