Racing Post tipster Robbie Wilders heads to Navan for his four best bets on Wednesday.
French Claim @ 10/11
Nation's Call @ 4/1
Duke Of Leggagh @ 1/1
Time Tells All @ 3/1
The standout action on Wednesday is at Navan and the smart FRENCH CLAIM looks a decent bet to kick off his season with a victory in the 1m6f conditions race (2.50).
The Paddy Twomey-trained four-year-old placed in the Irish Derby last year behind Westover and, although he didn't fare quite as well in the St Leger and Irish Cesarewitch subsequently, he remains a top prospect going into the new campaign.
French Claim scored first time out at two and three, so I'm not overly concerned by the 185-day break, while the prospect of testing ground at is a plus.
He looked deadly on a slow surface the only time he encountered it when a runaway nine-length winner at Cork last April.
This perennial front-runner is taken to make all at the expense of chief market rival Okita Soushi, who has the advantage of race fitness after two Dundalk successes this year but has questions to answer on ground this deep.
Dermot Weld is without a winner from 11 runners this year, but unleashes a couple of well-bred sorts in the maidens and I'm interested in NATION'S CALL in the 1m2f event (4.00).
often saddles a short-priced favourite in this kind of race and I'd be concerned about the ground for the Ryan Moore-ridden Gooloogong based on his pedigree.
The going should be no concern for Nation's Call, however. He is by Frankel and out of the stable's smart mare Making Light, who enjoyed the mud.
This colt is yet to tackle such a surface after two reasonable juvenile efforts on ground much quicker than this last summer and the extra two furlongs should open up doors for the three-year-old.
His three Classic entries might not appear to be pie in the sky after Wednesday.
Horse Racing betting tips: 5/1 Lewa House can triumph at Hexham
Cheltenham Festival betting tips: 11/4 Marie's Rock to beat Honeysuckle
Cheltenham Festival betting tips: 11/8 El Fabiolo looks fabulous for the Arkle
The Michael Mulvany-trained DUKE OF LEGGAGH must have a golden chance in the 1m2f handicap (4.35).
This three-year-old ran a remarkable race three days ago on the opening day of the season. From 12lb out of the weights over 7f in the Madrid Handicap behind Paddington, who is considered a live French Guineas candidate off the back of that.
Duke Of Leggagh can be marked up for the display as Paddington avoided a load of scrimmaging in the straight and my selection was badly inconvenienced by a messy collision, eventually rallying and faring better than the distance beaten suggested in second.
From the plum draw in stall one, rider Gary Carroll can control matters aboard this front-runner and he might not see another rival once the gates open.
He is patently better than a mark of 69 and should collect with the minimum of fuss.
The other Dermot Weld-trained runner to back is the newcomer TIME TELLS ALL in the concluding mile maiden (5.35).
We have another O'Brien-trained favourite in the shape of Ballsbridge, who is also ridden by Ryan Moore, but first-time blinkers raise doubts ahead of his debut at the odds.
O'Brien is hardly renowned for training winning debutants and I'd sooner seek alternatives when they are priced on the short side, and Time Tells All fits the bill given both of the dam's progeny to hit the track scored on their debuts.
Time Tells All is a half-brother to the yard's 2022 1,000 Guineas winner Homeless Songs and, although it is a guess-up as to how good he is, three Classic entries later in the season potentially give the game away and he looks worth chancing.