Ray Flanagan with Cheltenham and US Masters Golf selections
thought for the day: Things are hotting up in Augusta Georgia
The traditional National Hunt-curtain-raiser known in the past as the Mackeson, Murphys and Thomas Pink Gold Cup, and these days under the banner of Paddy Power.
Cheltenham-2.15- Coole Cody and Al Dancer
I like the look of Coole Cody from the foot of the handicap receiving a nice bit of weight from most of his admittedly slightly more classy rivals. Now under the care of Evan Williams, Cody was a useful handicap hurdler in the past and produced a noticeable success at this fixture two years ago when carrying a big weight of 11-11 to success in a competitive handicap hurdle.
Since switching stable and going chasing this autumn he has been gradually progressing and there was nothing wrong with his runner-up effort to the 148 rated Pendil Chase runner-up Smithfield Stone at Cheltenham a few weeks ago.
Any overnight softening will be a help and off a low weight of 10-5 and a fair opening mark of 137 this resolute sort could stretch them from the front.
The pick of the top-weights may be Al Dancer who started favourite for the 2019 Supreme Novices Hurdle. Since moving over fences he has shown notable form running Master Fisher close at Doncaster and Arkle runner-up Put The Kettle On close at this meeting twelve months ago. A horde with a touch of class he will also appreciate the rain and it will not surprise if he shows his rivals the feet of a dancer this afternoon.
Golf US Masters- Justin Thomas
An interesting tournament is developing at the US Masters which thus far has been living up to hits billing eight months later in the calendar than normal.
Five players in particular seem set to take charge with Johnson, Thomas, Rahm, Smith and Cantlay coming to the fore.
My pick is JT-Justin Thomas. While they are all excellent players-JT is simply a wizard with his close range lazer like iron shots. His second shots from fairway to green are the best of anyone in the game and for that reason I think he will be the champion of the tournament and the wearer of the green jacket come Sunday evening.
1.5 pts ew- Coole Cody-2.15 Cheltenham- 12-1 General
1.5 pts win- Al Dancer- 2.15 Cheltenham-13-2 General
4 pts win- Justin Thomas- US Masters Golf- 13-2 enhanced-win only SkyBet