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WATCH: Upping The Ante: Home where the heart is in Stayers' Hurdle

On this week's episode of Upping The Ante, David Jennings and Johnny Dineen answer your questions before looking ahead to the racing action at Ascot and Haydock this weekend.

They also share their weekly charity bets, before finishing off with their all-important ante-post Cheltenham Festival selections as the countdown to the Cotswolds continues.

Watch all of the latest edition of Upping The Ante in association with bet365 on the link above or read below as we pick out some of the best bits from Episode 11 of the season.

Belief in Facile Vega not Impaired 

Willie Mullins' team of novice hurdle contenders is typically expanding as the season goes on, with Moscow Flyer winner Impaire Et Passe the latest Closutton inmate to impress in Sunday's Grade 2 contest at Fairyhouse. 

Johnny Dineen has been sweet on 4/5 Facile Vega for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle all season and he isn't about to start losing sleep that 7/1 Impaire Et Passe could be the fly in his ointment.

Amongst the questions from the crowd this week was a query as to whether Impaire Et Passe could become Mullins' leading contender for the Festival curtain-raiser, prompting DJ to ask Johnny if he's had any sleepless nights over the prospect.

"You're having a laugh aren't ya," came the riposte. "Having sleepless nights about what, Impaire Et Passe winning the Supreme Novices'?

"Not a hope. It can run all it likes, but it won't win at the same time. I don't think it will anyway. I won't be opposing Facile Vega in any company and I wouldn't be worried about Impaire Et Passe [running against him] for that matter either." 

Both Johnny and DJ believe 7/1 Impaire Et Passe is much more likely to run in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle over 2m5f on day two of the meeting.

Blood in the water for Triumph Hurdle favourite

Johnny's 'Performance of the Week' gave honourable mentions to Warwick Grade 2 winner Grey Dawning for Dan Skelton, the horse now trading at 16/1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle on 17th March, as well as Fairyhouse bumper winner Westport Cove for Willie and Patrick Mullins - currently rated a 12/1 chance in the Champion Bumper market following his debut win.

The star performer of the week, however, was Blood Destiny for that man Mullins after he made it a perfect 2-2 over hurdles at Fairyhouse on Saturday.

He beat Joseph O'Brien's Common Practice by some 18 lengths and Dineen had his eye turned.

"I know fellas will say it was no race, they let him off in front and didn't take him on," he started. "Saying that, it would take your eye out at the same time that horse. 

"I just loved the way he let them all back into the race, and then just scooted away from them again. 

"I know they made a present of the race and gave him a solo, but they wouldn't have beat him anyway. If you have backed Lossiemouth, it would worry you to see this horse I think. I thought he was hugely impressive." 

Mullins' Lossiemouth remains 5/4 favourite for the Triumph Hurdle, with Blood Destiny now second-favourite at 5/1.

Related Horse Racing News

Cheltenham Update: Impervious states Festival claims for Colm Murphy

Cheltenham Festival: A look at Willie Mullins' Festival runners

Energumene impossible to oppose in Ascot showdown

The big race of the coming weekend is the Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday where 4/7 Energumene is favourite to go one better, having lost out to Shishkin in a thriller 12 months ago. 

It's set to be Queen Mother Champion Chase winner vs. Arkle winner as Alan King's Edwardstone at 11/8 is his main rival, with Joe Tizzard's 25/1 Amarillo Sky the only remaining contender for the Grade 1 showpiece. 

David lamented the lack of runners in the race, before asking Johnny if he had a strong opinion on the Clarence House.

"Oh I have, an absolute monster opinion," came the response. "I might be wrong, but I'll be putting the chips on the favourite here!

"I'm a favourite man anyway, but I will be absolutely having a max play on this one. I can't see it getting beat.

"If Energumene turns into the straight in Ascot leading, there isn't a horse born able to pass him. Anybody could pick him out, but I think he'll win."

Home By The Lee underestimated in weak Stayers' race

As always, the lads concluded the show by adding to their ante-post Cheltenham Festival portfolios. 

This week, Johnny put forward 6/1 Home By The Lee for the Stayers' Hurdle, following his Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle win at Leopardstown. 

"I looked down through the runners, Flooring Porter is going for three-in-a-row, that's not an easy thing to do. Klassical Dream is probably touch and go if he makes the race. 

"Then you have Blazing Khal, he's worse than touch and go I'd say. Teahupoo wants soft ground…Paisley Park is next, there's not much in this race I think.

"The way Home By The Lee travelled over this trip at Leopardstown, he looked a different horse. He's the right age, this is his year and, when the time comes, I could see him not having a whole lot to beat. I'd say he'll be less than 3/1 on the day."

DJ meanwhile said he was less confident than Johnny on his selection this week, as he gave a nod to a Dan Skelton runner, whilst admitting he is 'completely guessing' at the Grand Annual as a target for Third Time Lucki at 20/1.

"Hear me out now," says Jennings. "All I wanted to see last time at Warwick was fluent jumping and that he is still enjoying his racing since he's had a wind operation.

"I thought he jumped well, I knew turning in he wasn't going to win [behind impressive scorer Haddex Des Obeaux], but I think if he goes to the Grand Annual he could be spectacularly well-handicapped.

"The way he jumps, the race could be perfect for him and he'll get a fast pace and decent ground."

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