Minella Cocooner - 12:00 Gowran Park
Smart Stat: 5 - Willie Mullins' number of winners in past 10 runnings
Willie Mullins saddles three runners as he seeks his sixth victory in this race since 2012. Classic Getaway and Whatdeawant both appeal as likely improvers now chasing, but preference is for their stablemate Minella Cocooner, who achieved more than that pair as a novice hurdler having won a Group 1 at Leopardstown and filled the runner-up spot in a couple of others at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals. Everything about him points to him being an even better chaser this season and the fact Paul Townend takes the ride underlines that he is very much the stable first string in a race Mullins has farmed in recent years.
Grain d'Oudairies - 14:03 Bangor
Smart Stat: 22% - Donald McCain's strike rate at Bangor-on-Dee since the start of the 2018/19 season
Grain d'Oudairies made a very promising start to his career when third in a bumper at Hexham in April, rallying well after running green entering the final furlong to be beaten just a length and three-quarters. That appeals as solid form given that the first two have both won since and the way Grain d'Oudairies shaped there suggests he is sure to improve with the experience under his belt. This looks just an ordinary novice and it could be a good opportunity for him to get off the mark at the first attempt over hurdles for Donald McCain, who is always worth following with his runners at Bangor.
L'Homme Presse - 15:25 Newcastle
Smart Stat: £59.610 - Venetia Williams' profit to a £1 level stake with chasers running after a break
Venetia Williams is slowly starting to hit top form having saddled four winners in the last seven days, so there shouldn't be any excuses for stable star L'Homme Presse as he makes his belated return to action having been due to run at Ascot last weekend. L'Homme Presse won his first five starts over fences last season, culminating with an impressive success in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and he is better judged on that form than when disappointing on his final outing at Aintree. He looks a top-class staying chaser in the making and even a BHA mark of 164 might not be enough to stop him on his return from eight months off.