The Coral Cup form was given a timely boost this week with second-placed Zabana impressively winning at Leopardstown, which is a compliment to the form Three Musketeers‘s recent four-length success over Coral Cup-second Activial at Newbury.
When last seen at Newbury he impressively beat L’Unique by a similar margin managed by impressive Grade-1 Kempton winner Tea For Two, so is a worthy 3/1 favourite for this Grade-2 Novices’ Chase.
He does jump right, though, which won’t suit Cheltenham and it’s tough to say whether the 7/2 is any value – I think it might.
Blaklion drops in trip – a move perhaps neutralised by the heavy ground – but isn’t so well-in at the weights as when last seen winning at Cheltenham, though he’s certainly respected and might be a snip of value at 15/2 at a course he likes.
Volnay De Thaix was handicapped out of the Coral Cup and can probably take positives from his fifth-placed finish, though he’s short in the betting for this and I’d be more inclined to side with the favourite, despite him being 7lbs better off at the weights.
Seeyouatmidnight is another with a chance after winning well at Kelso, but despite the long winning margin it looked to have been a hard race – his second of the season – so I’m not sure he’ll be seen to his best here.
Hat-trick seeking Le Mercurey might have been a shade lucky to win last time out at Ascot – the long-time leader unseated his rider at the last – and he joins Blaklion and Three Musketeers at the top of the weights for this so faces a tough ask.
The heavy going will ensure stamina is at the fore and every pound of weight will count, but, given he’s had a couple of weeks more time to get over his last race than all of these and has won over further, I’m expecting the top-weight Three Musketeers to run up to the form of his Newbury success.
He might even improve again.
1pt win Three Musketeers @7/2, Cheltenham 13:20Leave a comment