16:40 Carlisle Mon 19 February 2018
Has returned in good form this season and was only just held over a similar trip at Kelso last time. Unfortunate that he has been nudged up another 2lb for that. May not be beyond a bit more improvement, but couldn't be dogmatic about that.
Won over this trip from this mark last season and although he hasn't been able to add further to the win column this term, he has run some good races in defeat. In a more realistic grade than last time today and 1lb drop should help him compete.
Scored over 2m5½f at Kelso last month in first-time blinkers, though they didn't appear as effective back over hurdles last time. Yet to be tried over 3m and was well beaten on sole try over 2m7f at Haydock in December, so has stamina to prove.
Won a novices' handicap chase at Ayr (heavy) over a similar trip last season, when 7lb lower. Back to that level of form at Newcastle (soft) last time. Nudged up 2lb for that, but may not be fully exposed over fences yet and not ruled out.
Put together back-to-back staying hurdle wins at Kelso/Wetherby last season (both good to soft). Has improved on that form in two chases this term and beaten just ½L at Doncaster (3m, soft) last time. Up 6lb for that, but front pair clear. Claims.
Won a Kelso novices' chase (good) over a similar trip in October and put up his best chase effort in a handicap at Catterick last time. 2lb drop for that 17½L defeat this time, which may not be enough.
Won over 2m4f (heavy) here in October from 2lb lower. Not far away from 2lb higher mark on his last two starts at Sandown and Sedgefield, so respected on that basis, though has stamina to prove over this longer trip.
Last Year's Winner
|T: M A BarnesJ: Daragh Bourke|
Shanroe Santos (3/1), Chidswell (3/1), Bako De La Saulaie (4/1), Point The Way (11/2), Newtown Lad (8/1), Never Up (9/1), Un Guet Apens (22/1)
- Bako De La Saulaie
- Shanroe Santos
- Newtown Lad
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