Our presenter and website regular Angus McNae recorded a profit in his latest Sunday column and put up Martin Pipe winner Iroko at 20-1 before the start of the Cheltenham Festival. See his four picks for Sunday's action at Carlisle, live on Racing TV.
2.25 Carlisle: Wearelongterm
This is a weak maiden hurdle with those at the head of the market looking vulnerable for various reasons, so I will take a chance with this gelding who runs for the first time for Dianne Sayer.
Wearelongterm is a recruit from the Gordon Elliott yard for whom he had one run over fences, finishing fourth when well-backed. The fact that he has left that yard is a something of a concern, but he starts off for Sayer at a realistic level and is worth supporting against the front of the market.
3.00 Carlisle: Imperial Alex
He looks to be thoroughly progressive now that he is handicapping.
In truth Imperial Alex had not shown much until he made his handicap debut last time out off a mark of 86 yet he proved to be a revelation, winning cosily at Warwick. The runner-up from that race has gone on to frank the form with a win and, with the handicapper only raising Imperial Alex 5lb in the weights, he looks likely to go in again. He rates as a strong selection here.
3.35 Carlisle: Lord Du Mesnil
He is running in a veterans' chase for the first time and this could prove to be something of a hidden class drop.
Lord Du Mesnil ran poorly when last seen in January, but that was in a much stronger race and now that he contests this company and on the heavy ground that he relishes he looks certain to run well. He is a thorough stayer who is usually ridden prominently and, were he to force a decent gallop, he could have some of these veterans toiling some way from home. With conditions very much in his favour he looks sure to go well.
4.10 Carlisle: Lord Roco
I am taking him to bounce back to form after a tame effort last time out.
That run came off an eight week lay-off and I am taking the view that Lord Roco badly needed the run because, before that, he had looked quite progressive in this sphere. He finished second three times on his first three runs over fences before blowing out last time.
He has seemed to be an improved jumper with his racing as well as a strong stayer, as he showed with a good effort at Ayr two starts ago. Brian Hughes retains the ride having pulled him up last time out which is a positive and at around 9-1 he makes appeal in a competitive heat.We have teamed up with Aintree Racecourse to offer Racing TV members a discounted West Tip Seat to the Opening Day of the Randox Grand National Festival! Click here for more details
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