15:35 Chester Wed 10 May 2017
Finished runner-up in this last year and has placed in some valuable handicaps since, most recently a narrow margin runner-up at Leopardstown in October. Now a stone higher than his last winning mark but went well here last year on seasonal reappearance and seems to be getting better with age.
Not managed to win a race since taking this contest in 2014. Should come on for recent reappearance at Musselburgh but still 9lb above his last winning mark and this draw looks far from ideal.
Won a Class 2 conditions race at Salisbury in September over 1m6f but he's been a little disappointing on recent starts at around 2m. Has a fair record when fresh so not completely ruled out but doesn't hold too many secrets from the handicapper and draw isn't ideal.
Typically consistent sort for this yard and has been running well on the AW this winter, with form figures of 213112. Possible this first try over further than 2m will eek out a little more improvement and he shapes like he should stay. His profile suggests he's a little better on AW but there's not a whole lot of pace in this contest and he may be able to dominate from the front for a jockey who rides this course as well as any one.
Has proved equally as effective on turf as he is on the AW in recent times and his run last time was better than the finishing position suggested having blew his chance from the stalls. Jumps trainers have a fair record in this race having taken four of the last renewals but he has a horror draw to overcome.
Not won since 2014 and best suited to rain softened ground, something he looks unlikely to get here. Others may be better handicapped and yard have been a little quiet so far this season.
Finished third behind Golden Spear and Nakeeta at Leopardstown two starts back and should come on for his first run this year at Kempton last month. Interesting to see how he goes on faster ground having been kept to softer conditions when on turf and he looks on a fair mark but he'd have to be well ahead of that mark if he's to score from this wide draw.
Excellent third in the Cesarewitch having raced a little keen in the early stages. Trip likely to have been too short on previous start at this course but won on his only other start here and he has any amount of improvement in him. Draw not ideal but holds place claims and jockey is useful around here (20.69% strike-rate).
Makes his first start for this yard having endured an interrupted career in recent times, only making three starts in as many years. Well beaten on all three previous attempts to win this contest and still 7lb higher than his last winning mark; likely to struggle from his wide draw.
Has run okay in two attempts at 2m+ but suspicion is she's in the handicapper's grip at present. Jockey has a strike-rate of 19.69% around here and the mare will enjoy the forecast fast ground, so not dismissed out of hand.
21 runs since his most recent win, coming in 2014. Back to his highest winning mark now and fair effort when fourth on return to action at Musselburgh. Others likely to be lurking on a better mark and his draw will be very difficult to overcome but he did run well in this in 2014 when finishing runnner-up and he gets the vote of the stable jockey.
Fair effort in last year's Cesarewitch and followed that up with a win at Leopardstown in October where he was good value for the winning margin. Fair efforts in four hurdles starts since and likely he's still on a fair mark returned to this sphere despite the 7lb rise. A trainer/jockey combination to be feared in a race such as this and should go well.
Trainer won back-to-back renewals of this contest (2011/2012) but this gelding hasn't won in this sphere since 2015 when he was trained by Dermot Weld and he doesn't look particularly well-handicapped even on his best form. Less exposed than most in here and should be fit from a recent hurdles run at least.
Good fourth in the Cesarewitch where he met significant interference in the middle-part of the race. May have finished plenty closer to the first two if it wasn't for that and he's clearly well-suited by a strong test of stamina. Having only gone up 3lb in the weights and more improvement likely, he can't be ruled out despite the yard making a rather quiet start to the campaign.
Scored around this track last summer before disappointing in two subsequent efforts in this sphere. Greater emphasis on stamina will no doubt help and he looks well-handicapped off the back of some smart hurdles efforts, most recently when finishing third of 25 at the Cheltenham Festival. Ground versatile and draw won't be an issue so plenty to like.
Had a couple of these in behind at Ripon last time and due to go up 2lb for that effort in future races. Hold-up performers not always best suited to this track but he's on a fair mark and will be doing all his best work late, particularly if they go a good enough gallop.
Three wins from his last four starts and up another 6lb for an all the way success at Kempton last time. Form of that race up for debate but he was a course winner here towards the end of last year and drawn perfectly for front running tactics.
Last Year's Winner
Blakeney Point (4/1), Who Dares Wins (5/1), Watersmeet (8/1), Yorkidding (9/1), The Cashel Man (9/1), Sea Of Heaven (9/1), Golden Spear (10/1), Sir Chauvelin (14/1), Montaly (16/1), Nakeeta (16/1), Fun Mac (25/1), Magic Circle (25/1), Angel Gabrial (25/1), First Mohican (33/1), Suegioo (40/1), Duke Of Clarence (50/1), Good Tradition (50/1)
- Who Dares Wins
- Golden Spear
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