12:00 Doncaster Sat 16 December 2017
The last time he was in this class of contest he was successful at Kempton in May 2016 and he wasn't beaten far off this mark at Newton Abbot last May. Conditions ideal for him and he is interesting on his first start for this trainer.
Yet to win since joining this in-form stable, for whom he has not shown the form that he was over fences earlier in the year for Philip Hobbs. Conditions/trip ideal for him and he has won from 6lb higher over fences. Could get more closely involved.
Arrives in good form after winning at Warwick last time from a mark that had seen him beaten a couple of times previously. Stuck his neck out well to win off a hold-up ride there and surely more to come, so 7lb rise may not stop him.
Sedgefield bumper winner who has lost his way a little over hurdles at a variety of trips from 2m-2m7½f. That does at least mean that his mark is on the slide and he comes into this off his lowest one yet, dropped in trip. Could do better this time.
Reasonably consistent over hurdles, his sole win being at Hexham (2m4f, good) in May when 9lb lower. Pulled up on heavy ground when returning from a break back at that track last time. Good ground will help, though has a bit to prove at this trip.
Has shown some promise in both starts over hurdles, being 18L fourth behind an impressive winner at Wetherby (2m, soft) and 7L third in a Huntingdon maiden (2m, good to soft) last time. Initial mark looks fair and he is not ruled out.
Looks the part but has so far failed to deliver on several occasions, his sole success coming in a Sedgefield novices' hurdle (2m1f, good) in April. Drops 2lb going into this and can't be written off yet, but has a few questions to answer.
Was beaten just 1¼L from a mark of 120 when with Gordon Elliott last year, but not in same form for this yard so far. Hinted slightly at a revival at Musselburgh last time, though not enough to have us rushing to wager this time.
Won a fillies' juvenile event at Ludlow (2m, soft) in January but held by handicapper since. Tried to make all over 2m3f last time and was collared for second close home. Possibilities dropped back in trip and from a 2lb lower mark.
Not as good as he was and now 22lb lower than when landing a Listed event in 2015, on account of the 20-race losing run since. Went well from 10lb higher at Wetherby in October, but not sure route back to winners' enclosure is over this trip.
Veteran who recorded his first handicap hurdle success at Hexham (2m, good) in June from today's mark. Held by handicapper since then, but could do better today now dropped back to this rating and with 7lb claimer up.
Yet to win beyond 1m on the Flat and that is a concern in terms of his stamina even over this minimum trip over hurdles. Made frame in moderate novices' contest at Huntingdon in October and mark looks fair, but has that stamina question to answer.
1-15 over hurdles, that sole win being over C&D (good to soft) last year from 1lb higher. Best effort when beaten 2L at Catterick from 4lb higher in February, but has not come close to that form since and has a fair bit to prove, despite good mark.
Last Year's Winner
|T: P W MiddletonJ: Ryan Winks|
Eskendash (3/1), One For Billy (9/2), Crackdeloust (11/2), Castafiore (7/1), Helmsley Lad (9/1), Gran Maestro (11/1), Pumaflor (12/1), Ink Master (16/1), Quill Art (20/1), Cape Hideaway (25/1), Buyer Beware (33/1), Back To Balloo (40/1), Brotherly Company (50/1)
- Back To Balloo
- Helmsley Lad
- One For Billy
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