Alan Dudman has a 40/1 Day 4 multiple on Friday
No qualms in keeping with Hiddenvalley
Back Hiddenvalley Lake @ 7/1 in the 14:50 - Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
Kicking off with Friday's first bet, and I've been a long-time admirer (well long in the sense of a first season novice) of Hiddenvalley Lake this season and have charted his path with great interest.
I really liked his debut win back in November at Naas, a no-nonsense and calm debut win by 2L over a Gordon Elliott favourite that day, and belied his inexperience to look quite savvy on first start. It appeared 200,000 well spent at that stage by the Robcur owners.
He was immediately pitched into Grade 3 company with his first attempt at 3m, and while the pace wasn't searching and wouldn't have suited him - and he hit a high of 9.417/2 in-running briefly, he pulled away emphatically.
The race at Clonmel had been earmarked soon after against stablemate Montys Star - a race that Henry De Bromhead has used with some of his past stars, I think the nature of the gallop suited Montys better, and served with a bigger field and a greater test of stamina should see him gain revenge on his stablemate who is double his price.
There's not a lot to crab with this staying youngster, and while the first-time tongue-tie took me a bit by surprise, I think he has all the attributes for this race to go well.
Reigning champ can defy a quiet 12 months
Back A Plus Tard @ 4/1 in the 15:30 - Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup
If De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore have a good day, then I will too as A Plus Tard surely has to be the bet from a class angle point of view for the Gold Cup.
There's a huge question mark hanging over him however, and his sole appearance this term in the Betfair Chase was a non-event, so disappointing and so unlike him. It was a major blip and then a setback soon after, but on the positive spin from a negative, he's barely had a season and is fresh, fresh as paint.
If he is anywhere near back to his best of his 15L triumph in the Gold Cup from last season, he should win.
If it becomes a slog, and we'll see if the ground gets more testing despite racing on the fresher strips yesterday he should outstay Galopin De Champs who slammed Stattler in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at the DRF.
He's still holding his lofty rating of 180, and De Bromhead displayed yesterday with Envoi Allen, how he can revitalise them after a bleak spell. One defeat is hardly bleak times, but you simply have a put a line through Haydock.
The heart will also be rooting for Sounds Russian - a 40/1 shot. I am hoping he can hit the first five places, and well done for Ruth Jefferson for having a crack at the might of the Irish. I hope he does her proud.