Tips from the Colonel

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TOP Irish trainer Colm Murphy has confirmed that Quito De La Roque will bid to end his season on a high in the Grade One Punchestown Gold Cup at this year’s Irish National Hunt Festival at the end of April.

Others confirmed to run in famous 3m 1f contest include Captain Chris, trained in Britain by Philip Hobbs, and the John Durkan Memorial Chase winner Rubi Light.

Trainer Philip Hobbs confirmed this week that the eight-year-old Captain Chris was set to return to Punchestown, where he ran out a brilliant winner of the Grade One Ryanair Novice Chase last year.

Also likely to line up at Punchestown is the Robbie Hennessy-trained Rubi Ligh. He finished fifth in the Ryanair Chase over 2m 5f at Cheltenham and Hennessy feels a step up in trip at Punchestown will prove beneficial.

Daddy Long Legs won the UAE Derby at Maydan on Saturday for Aidan O’Brien and Colm O’Brien at (7-1) and is now as short as 8-1 for the Kentucky Derby. O’Brien said: ‘’He jumped and travelled well and ran on strongly, I will have a look at the Kentucky Derby now’’.

My notepad horse for this week has to be Attenborough (6-4 from 5-2) for his seasonal debut at Doncaster on Sunday.

Jermy Noseda’s well bred 3yo was hampered half way and never looked happy on the straight track to finish out with the washing. I would like to see the USA bred colt run at Windsor on a Monday night.

Born To Surprise, the 7-4 favourite, strode clear to take the maiden at Doncaster on Sunday for Jamie Spencer and now goes to the Craven meeting at Newmarket.

Michael Bell’s 3yo is 33-1 for the 2,000 Guineas but he could end up a top handicapper and looks worth keeping a close eye on this flat season.

Bookmakers report good money this week for Groody Hill (8-1 from 10-1) in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Bank Holiday Monday.

At Aintree, at the Grand National three-day meeting, Rock On Ruby is the 9-4 favourite with Paddy Power for the John Smith Aintree Hurdle. Nicky Henderson’s Oscar Whiskey is the next in the betting at 5-2.

The 2,000 Guineas market is all-about Camelot the clear 5-2 favourite with Most Improved next best with the bookmakers at 6-1. The vibes are strong from Ballydoyle about Camelot but he is no price for such a open looking Guineas.

At Fairyhouse on Sunday Flemenstar looks a stand-out in the Powers Gold Cup. I had a good bet on at 6-4 on Tuesday when the market was formed by Bet365.

At Kempton don’t miss Marvelino in the 1.35. Pat Eddery’s 2yo ran to free at Doncaster on Saturday and a better run is on the cards this weekend.

Visit for the Colonel’s tips.

TOP racing tipster Kevan Minter, known as The Colonel, gives Mercury readers his top tips for the week ahead. Kevan, who lives in Stamford, is trackside most days, is regularly seen on TV and runs his own website www. betwiththe