View from connections ahead of Saturday's European Breeders' Fund William Hill "National Hunt" Novices' Handicap Hurdle Final at Sandown.
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Ceasar Milan will aim to complete a quick-fire hat-trick for Paul Nicholls in a wide-open renewal of the European Breeders' Fund William Hill "National Hunt" Novices' Handicap Hurdle Final at Sandown on Saturday.
It is only two and a half weeks since the six-year-old got off the mark over hurdles at the fourth attempt in bloodless fashion at Taunton and he was made to work hard to follow up under a penalty at the Somerset circuit on Thursday of last week.
Having been reassessed by the handicapper, he lines up in Saturday's Grade Three contest off a mark of 131, less Harry Derham's 3lb claim, and part-owner Andy Stewart is hoping for a bold show.
He said: "He won a point-to-point and two bumpers before myself and Mr (Graham) Wylie decided to buy him and we were slightly disappointed to begin with.
"He seems to be improving though, winning his last two races at Taunton and Paul is keen to let him run on Saturday and see how he goes.
"He's not even entered at Cheltenham as there's nothing for him there. He could go to Aintree, but that is still a few weeks away, so we thought we'd run him on Saturday first. It's a nice prize and hopefully he'll run well."
The Philip Hobbs-trained Horizontal Speed is another horse aiming to secure a third consecutive win and came home with 41 lengths in hand at Taunton last time out.
David Dennis, representing owners Favourites Racing, is hoping a stiff track like Sandown will bring out the best in the six-year-old.
He said: "We've been very pleased with his last two wins, both on heavy ground at Taunton. I would imagine conditions are going to be fairly testing at Sandown and you would like to think the stiff Sandown hill will play to his strengths - hopefully he'll be finishing well.
"The only concern is he's been beaten on his only run in a handicap and he is now higher in the weights.
"You could argue on that form he's badly handicapped, but Saturday's race will tell us more."
Classic Move steps up in grade following victories at Bangor and Catterick.
His trainer, Donald McCain, said: "He's been in good form and has won his last two races well. I was hoping for slightly better ground, but he has shown form in testing conditions, so hopefully he'll be all right. It looks a very competitive race. Fingers crossed he runs well."
Gone Too Far is an interesting contender for trainer Alan King, owner JP McManus and jockey Tony McCoy.
The six-year-old won on his hurdling debut at Wetherby in November and has since been placed in hot contests won by Garde La Victoire and Vaniteux.
"Gone Too Far ran with the choke out when he finished third at Doncaster last time, but it was his first run since November and this has been his target for a while," King told his website.
"Any improvement in the ground would probably help his cause, but he is in good form."
David Pipe saddles the two top weights in the 17-runner contest, with Doctor Harper and Knight Of Noir both lining up off the back of victories.
Other contenders include the Ian Williams-trained Portway Flyer and Hughie Morrison's Brother Brian.