16:50 Cheltenham Fri 16 March 2018
Not a lot of miles on the clock (five starts over hurdles for this trainer) and eye-catching winner of a Grade 3 novice in Ireland last time. Raised 12lb on strength of that, can make presence felt.
Fine effort over this trip at Fairyhouse last month when second on first start for 301 days. Unexposed performer, raised 9lb and sports first-time tongue-tie today.
Fred Winter winner in 2013, also ran well in the County in 2014. Has been chasing this season so far, on a fair mark if able to bring best form to the table. n the right hands with last year's winning trainer.
Progressive in 2017, though just one win in five attempts, repeatedly gone well in big-field handicaps including narrow defeat over this trip at Punchestown in April. 4lb higher on first start since, respected yard.
Two wins from there earlier in the season, finished second to Supreme third Mengli Khan in Grade 1 Royal Bond. Disappointing last month (Samcro in opposition), could be a big player now going handicapping.
Form this season all over longer trips, including October win at Uttoxeter, likely high enough in the ratings regardless for what he has achieved so far and facing tough task seemingly.
Easy winner of a Wincanton handicap over this trip when last spotted over hurdles in November 2016 (rated 130). Form over fences this term doesn't inspire, though excellent jockey booking if bouncing back in this sphere.
Couple of wins in novice company over this sort of trip earlier in the season and winning handicap debut last month at Haydock (2m7f, heavy) from 5lb lower mark. Not discounted dropping back in distance.
Fair handicapper, won a 2m3f soft-ground Towcester handicap last month on first start after a wind operation. Gone up 4lb for that and gets first-time cheekpieces added.
Doesn't always find as much as seems likely, run well enough in two starts this term without threatening to win. Handicapper has cut him some slack but still left requiring a career best.
Smart bumper horse last season, placed in Grade 1 novice last month at Leopardstown. Trainer has landed three of these in seven years. Interesting on handicap bow.
All the way winner of Towcester novice contest last month over shorter trip. Unlikely to get his own way amongst rough and tumble here on handicap debut but on a fair mark based on that run.
Won all three starts so far, two over hurdles, with minimum of fuss. Hasn't been sighted since April, opening mark is workable and trainer would clearly love to land this race.
Form in novice hurdles (two wins) is fair, though plenty more likely to be asked of him now on handicap debut and the trip is an unknown factor.
His third behind Total Recall last time at Leopardstown is decent form, trainer won this race last year and despite being 9lb higher now, he should be holding decent claims.
Some smart novice form since joining Seven Barrows team, finished a credible third in Listed Kempton handicap over 2m5f on soft last month. Raised only 2lb for that effort and has the scope for doing better.
Possibly not the easiest horse to train, best form to date has been over 2m. Ran a cracker in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton in November but poor in the Betfair at Newbury last time. On a fair mark if he turns up in the mood.
Beat Flawless Escape to win a maiden over this trip in November at Punchestown, well beaten only start since. Eye-catching jockey booking in these famous silks and big run possible.
In good form lately, winning easily (odds-on) at Fontwell in January before fine effort over near three-mile trip at Sandown since. Just 2lb higher and this shorter trip should in his favour.
Unexposed sort, ran strong race in big-field Leopardstown handicap last time, raised 9lb on that run, pilot takes bulk of that off again and has to be worth serious consideration.
Sandown winner in Listed Mares' company in January but outclassed in Betfair Hurdle last month. Step up in trip suits here but needs a firm career-best to land this pot.
Not disgraced in Grade 2 novice contest last time at Naas, that run came in close proximity to today, could be capable of a step forward from a fair handicap mark.
Just the four starts over hurdles, winning a Newbury handicap in late December over this trip on heavy going from a 5lb lower mark. One of three for Seven Barrows team enjoying excellent Festival.
Last Year's Winner
|T: G ElliottJ: J J Slevin|
Flawless Escape (13/2), Deal D'Estruval (7/1), Diese Des Bieffes (17/2), Early Doors (9/1), Sire Du Berlais (10/1), Blow By Blow (11/1), Carter Mckay (12/1), Melrose Boy (12/1), Mr Big Shot (14/1), Burrows Saint (16/1), Lough Derg Spirit (20/1), Brave Eagle (20/1), Amour de Nuit (20/1), Brillare Momento (25/1), Tommy Rapper (25/1), Discorama (33/1), Dream Berry (33/1), No Hassle Hoff (33/1), Coeur de Lion (33/1), Delire D'Estruval (50/1), Brelan D'As (50/1), Flaxen Flare (50/1), Poppy Kay (66/1), Arthington (80/1)
- Mr Big Shot
- Burrows Saint
- Early Doors
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