After finishing sixth in a decent event at Newbury on his hurdles debut Lexicon Lad (5:00) took another step forward when third at Ffos Las last time and, back on better ground, he can land the closing maiden hurdle at Ludlow on Wednesday.
Tom George’s charge earlier ran well in a couple of Aintree bumpers and the form of his Newbury run reads well with the winner, Pride In Battle, following up there last month, whilst runner-up, Cucumber Run, has struck twice since.
If Punchestown passes an 8am inspection, Garde Champetre and the exciting So Young will be laying their Cheltenham Festival credentials on the line, but the best bet on the card is Valleymount (4:45) in the concluding mares’ bumper.
Fran Flood’s five-year-old has won once from four starts in this sphere to date, that sole victory coming on heavy ground, and the rest of her form is also very strong.
The daughter of Milan debuted behind Spanish Treasure at the Punchestown Festival, before running in a hot contest at the Curragh and her latest third in Grade 2 company stands out here against her own sex.
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Last year’s selections included:
Hurricane Fly: 3/1 winner of the G1 Rabobank Champion Hurdle
Copper Bleu: 12/1 winner of the Jewson at Cheltenham
Great Endeavour: 18/1 winner of the Festival Plate
Tranguil Sea: 11/2 winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup
Sizing Europe: 6/1 winner of the Arkle
Weapon’s Amnesty: 10/1 winner of the RSA Chase