Irish raider Riders Onthe Storm looks to have got in lightly in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (4.50) so makes plenty of appeal at 7/1. This six-year-old is trained by Tom Taaffe, who saddled Finger Onthe Pulse to land the spoils in this in 2008, and has only had three starts over fences – showing improved form on each outing. After finishing a highly promising not knocked about fourth to Mengli Khan at Punchestown, he shaped really well when weakening late on to finish a 22 length third of seven to Hardline in a Grade 1 at Limerick. Hardline is now rated 151 and my selection for the Grade 1 Arkle on this card, whilst the runner-up Getabird is very highly regarded and rated 150. That gives the form a solid look and Riders OntheStorm has since got off the mark over the larger obstacles in good style when readily beating Impact Factor by 1 1/4 lengths at Punchestown when idling once hitting the front after the last. He was value for more than the winning margin and has been allotted an opening handicap mark of 140 on the back of those three runs. That looks lenient and the assessor could easily have given him eight of 10lb more. This race will also suit his run style and Riders Onthe Storm remains unexposed over fences and open to plenty more improvement. He looks to have the perfect profile for this.
Daily Sport recommended bet – posted on twitter 5.50pm 10/03/19: 2pts each-way Riders Onthe Storm (7/1 general – use BOG firms)