14:10 Cheltenham Fri 16 March 2018
Useful form this season, form of last month's Betfair Hurdle done no harm in Tuesday's Supreme here. Stable jockey's pick from McManus quartet despite 8lb increase and top-weight says plenty.
Finally delivering on his potential with back-to-back successes at Kempton and Ascot in January but reverted to type in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and remains a quirky character. Top conditional jockey booked takes off useful 3lb.
Won the Triumph Hurdle on this card two seasons ago, but hasn't put his head in front since. Four runs over the winter suggests he's lost appetite for the game, including when tailed off here in the Greatwood. Leap of faith required.
Some promising signs in the summer with two wins over hurdles alongside a Flat success (rated 83). Another that failed to perform in the Greatwood here and has been poor in three further runs.
Winner of two Grade B hurdles in late summer before two fine efforts on the Flat. Enjoyed a nice prep for this last month at Gowran Park on testing ground and could be set for a bold run now for trainer with remarkable record in this.
Pair of wins in minor hurdles last summer on good/yielding ground and has been mixing with some smart types since in Graded races without success. Not given the easiest mark, but could be capable of a big effort. Pick of trainer's three.
Winner of Listed handicap at Sandown in December on return from layoff / only outing this season. Has been put away since and likely player from 6lb higher mark.
Only two starts since joining Mullins team from France, landed Naas Grade 3 in January on second of those. Only 3lb higher now, with scope for better. Yard have bagged this four times in eight years.
Now 5lb higher than when winning C&D handicap in January, well held behind a few of these at Newbury last month and held again in lesser Lingfield contest 11 days ago: others have more in their favour.
Smart handicap hurdler who could be on a workable mark for this. Last spotted over fences at Ascot in November, gets the Champion Jockey on his back and weighted to be competitive on form.
Champion Bumper winner here in 2015 but has had his problems since (just six more runs). Pulled up in Champion Hurdle last term, just two runs since and no threat at Newbury last month amongst a few of these on first start after wind op.
Useful form in Graded hurdles last season, consistent without being able to score in five starts over fences this winter. Wears a first-time tongue-tie as he switches focus to hurdles once more in competitive contest and yard enjoying a good week.
Mare was a comfortable scorer over 2m4f at Punchestown last month. She has form over this trip a and yard have won this four times in eight years but stable jockey has ridden only one of those winners. Fair mark, seemingly.
Landed two valuable handicaps on the Flat at Galway Festival last summer, very fortunate winner of Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in December, though not disgraced behind Samcro there since. Lively player.
Just denied here in the Fred Winter last year when trained by Nicky Henderson, hasn't sparkled in two runs for this trainer but first-time tongue-tie added here and just 2lb higher than last year.
Rated 6lb higher than when edging out Divin Bere to win the Fred Winter here last season, running sound races in good company over the winter and fair effort last month in Kingwell at Wincanton should leave him ripe for today.
Last spotted winning a Doncaster handicap over 2m½f on good ground in December 2016 for Paul Nicholls. Represents new trainer today, gets in off that winning mark.
Won the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr (2m, good to soft) in April from a mark 3lb higher than this, yard in cracking form and advertised his well-being with AW score at Kempton 11 days ago. 5lb claim also helps, one to take note of.
Progressive hurdler for the Skelton's this term, winning at Lingfield before excellent second in Lanzarote at Kempton (2m5f, soft). This trip just about as short as he wants, but soft ground and testing finish in his favour.
Well-backed to win 2m4f soft-ground handicap at Punchestown in October on first start for this yard. Run well in decent handicaps in Ireland since, assessor hasn't missed him for first British outing but connections much-respected.
Just over 3L off Arctic Fire in this last year (5lb higher now), before placing behind Chesterfield at Ayr, tailed off here in the Greatwood in November and ground may have gone against him now.
Unbeaten in three starts over timber, latest when beating Remiluc by 2L over C&D in December. Gone up 8lb for that effort, in a much more competitive field, but entitled to improve again.
Grade 3 winner in Ireland over Christmas on heavy ground over 2m, disappointing at Naas in January when a long way off Sandsend, but handicapper has taken a chance with him and he may lead Gordon Elliott's assault on this.
Finished behind the likes of Kalashnikov and A Hare Breath in recent starts, handicapper appears to have given him a decent sniff of being competitive in this with a return to form.
Last Year's Winner
|T: W P MullinsJ: P Townend|
Flying Tiger (6/1), Whiskey Sour (7/1), Bleu Et Rouge (10/1), Duca De Thaix (10/1), Sandsend (11/1), Spiritofthegames (12/1), Ben Dundee (12/1), Meri Devie (12/1), Chesterfield (16/1), William H Bonney (16/1), Smaoineamh Alainn (16/1), Lagostovegas (20/1), A Hare Breath (20/1), Moon Racer (20/1), Brelade (25/1), Ivanovich Gorbatov (25/1), Brahms De Clermont (25/1), Mohaayed (33/1), Le Richebourg (33/1), Jenkins (33/1), Divin Bere (33/1), I Shot The Sheriff (33/1), Sternrubin (40/1), Remiluc (50/1), Tigris River (50/1), Krugermac (66/1), All Set To Go (100/1)
- Whiskey Sour
- Flying Tiger
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