Dynaste looks the pick for me in the Ryanair Chase
I’ve come down in favour of the mare Annie Power in the World Hurdle but she will have to up her game a fair bit
Tom Scudamore: will be attempting to ride his second festival winner on Dynaste in the Ryanair Chase.
Today manages the double of being the least of the four days and yet possibly the most difficult. The handicaps are especially difficult so first up, I think Dynaste is the one for the Ryanair Chase.
If he reproduces his Betfair Chase run at Haydock behind Cue Card he will take all the beating. He’s been running over three miles but this is the sort of horse this race was designed for.
Both trip and ground look to suit him. Al Ferof and Benefficient look the other two but I’m happy to take my chances with Dynaste.
I’ve come down in favour of the mare Annie Power in the World Hurdle but she will have to up her game a fair bit on what she’s done so far.
I think the ability is there but it’s yet to be proven. And obviously the trip is an unknown too. What is definitely in her favour though is the 7lb mares allowance. That’s a big help.
Even with that, though, she’s got a big task. Big Buck’s is obviously a big danger but Rule The World and At Fishers Cross are no back-numbers either. And Annie Power will have to properly stay. Plenty of highly-regarded horses have not come up that hill over the years and with the pace they go at in these staying races today, stamina does come to the fore at the end.
I was lucky enough to win the race twice with Flame Gun (1978) and Mountrivers (1980.) Mountrivers was a brilliant stayer, a good two-mile horse on the flat. The other horse was a novice who was beaten by Mr Kildare in the novice race on the first day and was unlucky. Two days later we pulled him out again and surprised everybody.
Today’s handicaps are a real puzzle but if pushed I give Colour Squadron a decent chance in the Byrne Group Plate. He ran a very good race in the Paddy Power on the course earlier this season and might have been a bit unlucky. A reproduction of that should put him right in the picture and he has AP McCoy on his back which is always a help.