Franchoek has been described as 'the next Katchit' and is the current ante-post favourite for the Triumph hurdle in March; he's the one they all have to beat in the opener at 12.20.
The eight contestants in the Relkeel hurdle look pretty closely matched; a number of the runners are not guaranteed to stay the extended two mile five furlong trip. Pouvoir seems to have developed a habit of getting himself beaten while, at the weights, Liberate is in with a shout if he lasts home. The original selection was Charlie Mann's course and distance winner My Turn Now but my enthusiasm is tempered by the fact the stable haven't had a winner in the past fortnight. I'll take a chance with Paul Nicholls' Gwanako.
Clear top rated animal in the 2.05 is Howard Johnson's Tidal Bay; the word is that Nicky Henderson's Duc de Regniere is the horse Mick Fitzgerald has postponed his retirement to ride. The Henderson stable has been going through a quiet spell; this race will prove useful for future reference.
The Boylesports.com Gold Cup looks extremely competitive. The best value I've seen in this is Venetia Williams' Idole First priced up at 20/1 with totesport; that's worth an each way interest as IF beat Palarshan (currently around 8/1) on similar terms over course and distance last March. Dangers abound, with likely favourite New Little Bric feared most.
In the International at 3.10 John Carr has said current champion Sublimity is not fully wound up. I'm concentrating on Afsoun, Katchit and Mac's Joy. In my mind's eye I can see Katchit getting swamped just after the last in the Fighting Fifth a couple of weeks ago. In contrast Afsoun looked the winner at Ascot last time but was outfought by Hardy Eustace over a distance the yard feel doesn't suit. Mac's Joy should have a shout at the weights but I'm siding with Afsoun.