THE jump racing season kicks into gear on Saturday with action at Aintree and Chepstow. We got Jack Milner (@JJMSports) to cast his eye over the cards.
I want to talk to you about Garde La Victoire, my best bet of the day. He was very impressive last season and kicked-off his campaign beating Regal Encore at this meeting last year. His profile was very progressive from there on in, he finished second to Ballyalton at Cheltenham in December before finding the Supreme Novices too tough, however he ended the season in style with two wins in April.
There was some 7/2 (BetVictor) around as I recorded this and that's a great bet. I reckon he'll go off around 15/8!
This is the big race of the day and I'm with Uxizandre (4/1 Coral) here. The JP McManus beast finished second to Taquin De Seuil in the JLT at Cheltenham before a win over Oscar Whisky at Aintree. He goes well fresh too so this race should suit him as he starts his preparation for a likely tilt at the Ryanair next year.
His trainer Alan King has started the season really well and with Barry Geraghty on board I'm feeling confident.
Everyone in the National Hunt game knows just how potentially well handicapped Regal Encore (3/1 BetVictor) is and it could be his day. This is a horse who finished second in the 2013 Cheltenham Bumper and although he was disappointing last season, he only finished outside the first four once.
I think he can have a good season this year starting with Saturday. He goes well fresh and it's very interesting that his jockey Tony McCoy rides here rather than at Aintree. I expect the money to come for Regal Encore on Saturday and fancy his chances.