14:10 Cheltenham Thu 15 March 2018
Highly progressive early in this campaign, twice winning handicaps around here over the trip. Outclassed in Graded company previous two starts but respected in class-drop for yard that won in this in 2015. Wears first-time blinkers.
Grade 2 and Listed scorer over shorter trips, landed the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in the autumn on the Flat and solid in 2m5f good-ground Kempton event in November when last seen.
Authorized gelding, easy winner at Taunton in January after a wind operation and still holding sound claims in Grade 2 Rendlesham at Haydock on testing ground last month when coming down.
Surprise winner (33/1) of a Leopardstown qualifier for this race at Christmas, just holding on at the line. Looks to have been given a tough task with a 10lb hike for that success.
Only 5lb higher than when running away with a Newbury qualifier for this in November on good to soft. Couple of hard tasks over hurdles since and ran over fences last month at Warwick. Could easily bounce back for yard that won this in 2010/2011.
Four wins from six starts in 2017, also ran well in defeat in Grade 3 handicap at Chepstow in October. Impressive soft-ground winner at Aintree in November and likely been aimed at this since. Should go well despite significant weight added.
Consistent performer in handicap hurdles this season, with figures of 4122 since leaving Philip Hobbs for this trainer. Thriving but needs career-best to scoop this valuable prize.
Three from eight over timber including two wins since December. Very game and produced career-best to win at Exeter last month by 6L on heavy over this trip. First-time visor added, dangerous to dismiss.
Useful hurdler, on a fair mark and will handle the softer ground. This trip does present a minor stamina concern and Champion Jockey seemingly prefers stablemate Louis' Vac Pouch.
Wide-margin scorer over 3m at Ffos Las on soft ground in November off mark of 130. Signs he can compete off increased mark at Warwick in January but poor latest run at Sandown and questions to answer now.
Has Festival form with second in County Hurdle in 2015, showcased his stamina with sound run at Punchestown last month and, despite a tough mark, remains thoroughly unexposed at the trip.
Just a maiden hurdle to his name from seven starts but has been running well in staying hurdles. Closely matched with Sort It Out on recent Punchestown run (dead-heated for third) but better off on today's terms.
Fair effort behind Stayers' Hurdle contender Sam Spinner at Haydock in November and just denied back there last month in a handicap over this trip on heavy. Could go well if conditions are in favour.
Hit and miss performer (5-14 over hurdles) who would have chance on Huntingdon win in January. Poor either side of that effort but trainer much-respected in this sphere and stable jockey on board.
Lightly-raced for a nine-year-old but hasn't got his head in front over hurdles since May 2016 and plenty of work to do with some of these rivals on early season form. Poor here on New Year's Day when last seen.
Ran well behind Louis' Vac Pouch at Aintree in November and another sound run at Newbury in December, both over staying trips. Just 4lb higher now and fitted with first-time tongue-tie; no surprise if he runs a big race under talented claimer.
Has been busy over the course of the winter, no match for Taj Badalandabad at Huntingdon in January over this sort of trip and, despite much better Kempton run since, leaves him with questions to answer over this trip on a testing surface.
Good winner at Wincanton on Boxing Day (Boite second) but didn't quite appear to get home since at Huntingdon behind Taj Badalandabad and that has to rank as a concern on forecast ground.
Progressing nicely for this yard, most impressive when scoring at Doncaster in January over an extended three-miles on soft ground. Shot up in the ratings but certainly not one to overlook.
Trio of strong efforts in Irish handicaps before the turn of the year, could be capable of better again and respected for last's year leading trainer at the meeting given he's adept at preparing for this sort of mission.
Couple of accidents in three runs over fences to start the season, then beaten 28L behind Lovenormoney at Exeter last month on return to hurdling. Stays this trip but must bounce back to very best form.
Fair handicapper, tends to run his races and has been busy over the winter (eighth run). Hasn't truly looked like scoring in that sequence and has work to do with a few of these. Respected for former Champion Trainer nonetheless.
Promising effort over this trip at Leopardstown in December when just failing to get up, rated 9lb higher for this despite a disappointing effort behind Total Recall at the Foxrock track last month. Better effort not ruled out.
Last Year's Winner
|T: P G KellyJ: D N Russell|
Glenloe (9/2), Delta Work (6/1), Forza Milan (15/2), Louis' Vac Pouch (10/1), Sort It Out (10/1), A Great View (12/1), Who Dares Wins (14/1), Protek Des Flos (14/1), Thomas Campbell (20/1), Lovenormoney (22/1), Wait For Me (25/1), Kansas City Chief (25/1), Mine Now (25/1), Shantou Bob (25/1), Sykes (28/1), Connetable (33/1), Whataknight (33/1), The Mighty Don (33/1), Theo's Charm (33/1), Boite (33/1), Taj Badalandabad (40/1), Prime Venture (40/1), Dadsintrouble (40/1), Dell' Arca (50/1)
- Forza Milan
- Thomas Campbell
- Dell' Arca
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