THE Ladbroke (3.35pm) is the big betting race this side of Christmas and the rain has come at the perfect time for Brian Ellison’s TOTALIZE.
The son of Authorized loves a deep surface and he has been the main market mover all week – his odds plummeting from 25/1 to the current 8/1 with Coral.
I still think that is a fair price with more rain forecast and he looks very well-handicapped judged on his decent hurdles form from last season and subsequent exploits on the Flat this autumn.
Rolling Star is hugely respected, despite being top weight, with Nicky Henderson’s horses starting to hit full gear. The yard’s Chatterbox is also well-regarded and he is another who will relish the conditions.
However, an even bigger threat could come from the all-conquering Willie Mullins stable, who send over the JP McManus-owned City Slicker.
The five-year-old has bolted up on his last two starts at Punchestown and is clearly better going right-handed. AP McCoy, who is riding out of his skin, takes the mount and they could go very close.
If AP and JP don’t manage to win the big handicap, I still think they will be celebrating on the day as I strongly fancy AT FISHERS CROSS to reverse Newbury form with Celestial Halo in the Long Walk Hurdle (2.25pm).
Rebecca Curtis’s stable star screwed badly on landing two-out last time and I’d expect him to jump much better on his second start and with the champion jockey back on board.
Last year’s winner Reve De Sivola could end up being a bigger threat than Celestial Halo now that the rain has come.