Spiritofthegames looks overpriced decent value at 9/1 in the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices Chase which gets proceedings underway (1.45).
This Dan Skelton trained seven-year-old has some very strong form in ultra-competitive handicap hurdles last season, finishing a fine third to Kalashnikov in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and an excellent 4 3/4 seventh of 19 to Jester Jet at this meeting.
he has had just three starts over fences this season and looked one to keep onside when making a winning debut in a Listed contest at Chepstow when scoring by six lengths.
He then ran as if amiss in Grade 2 company when last of four to La Bague Au Roi at Newbury and following a break duly showed that running to be all wrong when a 2 1/2 lengths third of eight to Kildistart at Cheltenham where he was making good headway when getting slightly hampered three from home and then stayed on strongly to be nearest at the finish.
Spiritofthegames has since finished a cracking third of 22 to Siruh Du Lac in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at last month’s Cheltenham Festival where he came from off the pave and stuck to the task well for pressure to be nearest at the finish and beaten just three lengths.
That run has earned Spiritofthegames on official rating of 150 – just 2lb below that of La Bague Au Roi whi heads the betting for this and the same as Glen Forsa who is second favourite. His proven course form is also a big plus as is the fact that he is versatile as regards ground.
Now pitched back into novice company a bold bids looks on the cards in a race which should be run at a strong gallop which will play to Spiritofthegames’ strengths.
Daily Sport recommended net: 2pts win Spiritofthegames (9/1 generally available – use BOG firms)