Blood Destiny will do well to beat his stablemates
Noble Yeats needs to improve
Vaucelet's Stratford form doesn't look good enough
Famous Clermont may well be out of his depth
Willie Mullins clearly holds the key to the JCB Triumph Hurdle at 13:30.
Ireland's Champion trainer recruits the best French juveniles money can buy and has the first four in the betting - it is 4039/1 bar the four on the Betfair Exchange.
The two vying for the status of market leader are Lossiemouth 2.915/8 and Blood Destiny 3.185/40 who coincidentally made their racecourse debuts on the same Auteuil card last April.
They contested the two €50,000 maidens for unraced three-year-olds. Blood Destiny was runner-up to Monday's Stratford winner Bo Zenith in the Prix Grandak for colts and geldings. Lossiemouth took the Prix Geographie for fillies 35 minutes later.
Gala Marceau 6.05/1 arrived at Mullins after winning a Listed at Auteuil later that month. Zenta 17.5 was bought privately by JP McManus after winning a Listed at the Paris track in September and a month later sent to Mullins.
The quartet of star juveniles has raced exclusively in Ireland since. Blood Destiny's wide-margin victories in modest races at Cork and Fairyhouse have brought about a higher rating than the three fillies despite Lossiemouth winning a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 before losing out to Gala Marceau in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown's Dublin Festival.
A Grade 1 in its own right, the Spring has been used as a lift-off for the Triumph by Irish trainers before, notably by Vauban last year. Rich Ricci's juvenile beat Fil Dor and the pair went on to finish first and second at Cheltenham and at Punchestown in the Ballymore Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle.
In 2021 Henry de Bromhead took both the Spring and the Triumph with Quilixios.
Given that Blood Destiny has yet to run in a Graded race and has to concede 7lb to Lossiemouth and Gala Marceau, I make him the lay of the day at 3.185/40.
Noble Yeats needs to improve
The case for laying Noble Yeats for a place in the Gold Cup at 15:30 is based on his handicap mark relative to the other 12 runners.
He is rated 167, which puts him behind A Plus Tard, Galopin Des Champs, Bravemansgame, Hewick, Protektorat, Conflated and Minella Indo.
Noble Yeats was the first seven-year-old to win the National in over 50 years, so is undeniably an exceptional horse with the potential to do better still.
His handicap mark moved up to 158 from 147 after the National and to 167 after he beat Dashel Drasher, Ahoy Senor and Sounds Russian in the Many Clouds Chase back at Aintree in December.
He goes into the Gold Cup on the same mark, having finished behind Ahoy Senor and Sounds Russian in the Cotswold Chase here in January.
I feel it's quite an ask for him against last year's first three home - A Plus Tard, Minella Indo, Protektorat - and, of course, Gallopin Des Champs.
The Mullins runner has won four of the five Grade 1s he has contested over fences, falling when well clear here 12 months ago in the other.
Bravemansgame is six from seven over fences, including the King George VI at Kempton on Boxing Day when he drew well clear of Royale Pagaille.
Noble Yeats could be ridden strategically with a view to picking off horses as they tire to finish third, but that is a risk we take. I suggest laying him at 3.02/1.
Two lays in the Foxhunters
I suggest two lays in the St. James's Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Chase at 16:10.
I would normally stay clear of amateur races but the favourite Vaucelet doesn't appeal at 4.03/1 and the second in the market Famous Clermont will do well to be placed.
Vaucelet is the equal of Billaway 8.07/1 in Ireland - the pair fought out a close finish to the Champion Hunters Chase at Punchestown last April.
The two occasions he has ventured to the UK, he has won well enough at Stratford. Last May he was crowned the Pertemps Network Stratford Foxhunters Champion after beating Law Of Gold. The third and fourth Dandy Dan and Not That Fuisse take him on again.
The handicapper has Vaucelet 10lb behind The Storyteller and Chris's Dream and with Patrick Mullins, as ever, on last year's winner Billaway I am happy to take him on.
Given such a strong line-up I can't see why
The eight-year-old made mistake after mistake here when favourite for an intermediate hunter chase last April, William Biddick eventually pulling him up.
He has been odds-on for the poorly-contested races at Haydock and Wincanton that he won last month, and this is a huge jump in class.
He will be running on the closing stages, but I would be surprised if he makes the first three.
Best of luck and I hope you are in profit at the end of the day.
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