The Punchestown Gold Cup (5.30) is the feature race on day two of the Festival and Captain Chris looks the value in the race at 5/1.
Philip Hobbs’ gelding won last year’s Arkle and ran a blinder when third to Kauto Star in the King George.
Although he then disappointed at Cheltenham he bounced back to form at Prestbury Park last time out when staying on to finish fourth to Riverside Theatre in the Ryanair and the return to a right-handed track looks sure to suit.
To me he has far stronger form in the book than the favourite Quel Esprit, and although he is unproven on the surface his class could well be enough to see him prevail.
Elsewhere on the card, Forty foot Tom will relish the going in the opener at 3.40 and makes plenty of each-way appeal at 16/1.
Although the seven-year-old has yet to score since landing a bumper in heavy on his debut at Navan he has run a number of solid races in decent handicaps and deserves to get his head in front.
He found 3m to far on his latest start at Fairyhouse but prior to that had shown his time was near when narrowly beaten into second behind Ghareer at Gowran Park on going officially described as soft-to-heavy.
All his best form has been when the mud is flying, and unlike many of his rivals he will clearly have no problems with the very testing conditions.
I also like the look on Clobanan Lad in the bumper at 6.05, and he looks an each-way steal at 7/1 with bet365.
Michael O’Connor’s charge won his first two starts in this sphere in impressive fashion – most notably when slamming Mozoltov by 12 lengths at Naas under today’s conditions.
He then found the good going all against him when finishing 12th of 20 to Champagne Fever in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, but he will revel in today’s conditions and is definitely worth a bet to turn the form around.
Daily Sport recommended bets: 2pts win captain Chris (5/1 generally available – use BOG firms)
2pts each-way Forty Foot Tom (16/1 BetVictor – BOG)
3pts each-way Clonbanan Lad (7/1 bet365 – BOG, 1/4 odds 1,2,3)