Iberico Lord goes clear in the Betfair Hurdle
Iberico Lord (right) could be up to making his mark at graded level

Timeform analysis on Shishkin, Iberico Lord and Teeshan


Get the Timeform view on three of last week's standout performances from Shishkin, Iberico Lord and Teeshan.


Betfair Denman Chase, Newbury

Saturday 10 February

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The last recognised trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup and an opportunity for one of Britain's best hopes for ending the Irish dominance in the blue riband to go through his paces, Shishkin doing all that was required to regain the winning thread.

SHISHKIN held obvious form claims and, avoiding mishap this time, did all that was required, setting himself up nicely for a crack at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, his best form giving him a serious shout of upsetting Galopin des Champs; tracked pace, jumped left/went a bit in snatches from time to time, pushed along end of back straight after none too fluent 6 out, upsides 3 out, went on soon after, kept on run-in.

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Betfair Hurdle, Newbury

Saturday 10 February

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Even with a quartet of non-runners this was still a bumper field - the biggest in nearly 20 years - for the most eagerly anticipated handicap hurdle away from the major spring Festivals, loaded with hurdlers who've already had a productive campaign, some of them, including a front pair who'd returned in a strong Greatwood, lightly-raced types with more to offer; unlike last year, when an inability to water resulted in firm ground and a record-breaking time, it proved a far more level playing field tactically under contrasting conditions, though it was still striking to see the winner pass as many he did in a style that probably said as much about Iberico Lord's ability as it did a just-in-time ride.

IBERICO LORD gave his trainer his sixth Betfair in all and first since My Tent Or Yours had obliterated his field in the same silks in 2013, Iberico Lord some way removed from the level of form that top-class speedball mustered then (from BHA mark 15 lb higher) and indeed subsequently but no forlorn hope at all to find himself holding his own in graded hurdles in time, perhaps before an ambitious bid at the Morebattle/Cheltenham Festival bonus double; the way he took care of a trademark deep field was certainly out of the ordinary, still to be put in the race whilst still going well 3 out (thirteen ahead of him at that point) but picking his way past rivals on the inner from the next and managing to not only claw back the 3-length deficit held by the runner-up at the last but also add another couple on striking the front halfway up the run-in, a margin that almost certainly undersold his dominance and will likely help keep the handicapper at bay for another couple of runs yet.


Trustatrader Open Maiden National Hunt Flat, Exeter

Sunday 11 February

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This will likely throw up a few winners but it was all about one horse on the day, Teeshan following up his wide-margin point success with a very impressive display that saw him made the shortest-priced British runner in the Champion Bumper market.

TEESHAN, a wide-margin winner on his sole outing in points, looked a very good prospect as he maintained his unbeaten record, making light of conditions as he eased clear without needing to come off the bridle; prominent, travelled strongly, led around 2f out, drew clear final 1f, impressive; he was put in at around 6/1 for the Champion Bumper on the back of this, and he's open to the improvement needed to trouble the Irish there.


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