In-form tipster Simon Holt argues Debestyman could have more to offer as he goes for glory at Kempton on Saturday.
Stamina will be all important in the McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase over three miles and five furlongs in soft ground at Warwick on Saturday, and Cheltenham four-mile winner LE BREUIL can see it out best.
Ben Pauling's tough eight-year-old, who narrowly prevailed in a tremendous battle with Discorama at the Festival last March, failed to fire on his reappearance over hurdles when his trainer was in poor form.
However, there were definite signs of improvement in the Becher Chase at Aintree next time when Le Breuil had every chance turning for home before finishing seventh behind Walk In The Mill and the re-opposing Kimberlite Candy.
Dropped 2lb and now 7lb better off with the latter, and with Luca Morgan (who was beaten a nostril aboard the Pauling-trained Delire D'Estruval at Sandown last Saturday) taking off an additional 7lb, the selection has a big chance at the weights and should be well suited by this extreme test on a course where he won a bumper in 2016.
For Kimberlite Candy, the Aintree run was probably a personal best and, despite running in snatches, he stayed on well up the long run-in. He looks like he should stay but hasn't always been reliable and didn't appear to get home (not helped by some moderate jumping) in last year's four-mile Eider Chase.
Getting the trip could also be a challenge for The Conditional who, while staying on well to chase home De Rasher Counter in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury (3m2f), now goes further than he's gone before. The Irish import has run really well (up 11lb for his last two efforts) for David Bridgwater and deserves his place at the top of the market even if, so far, the Newbury form hasn't been working out too well.
At Kempton, DEBESTYMAN can out-run his position in the market in the Unibet Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle.
The seven-year-old was a quietly progressive novice last season, finishing fourth to Phoenix Way, Third Wind and Commanche Red (on which form he looks very well handicapped here) at Plumpton before winning at his local course (2m4f) next time when beating next-time winner Manning Estate by over three lengths.
This season, Debestyman has improved with each outing and ran a blinder at Cheltenham over three miles last month when leading from three out to the final flight before fading into fifth behind Goodbye Dancer.
Down 2lb since, he was an obvious non-stayer that day and, while unproven going right handed, the combination of a drop in trip, soft ground and a very light weight here can ensure a bold show in the hands of Michael Nolan.
Posted at 1530 GMT on 10/01/20
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