20:10 Southwell Tue 12 June 2018
Not the most straightforward as best demonstrated by his Newbury win in December (2m4f+ heavy), but he's won again since then at Plumpton latest and is 4 from 7 over hurdles; races from 5lb higher tonight.
Classy as a novice hurdler/chaser (2016 Close Brothers handicap chase winner at Cheltenham). Far from disgraced over fences at the Cheltenham (Browns Advisory) and Aintree (Topham) Festivals and reverts to hurdles in lesser company here.
Smart chaser when at his best with his last win coming in a Grade 3 Punchestown Chase (October 2016) for Henry De Bromhead. Pulled up on both chase starts for this stable, so it's back to the drawing board over hurdles.
Shown a similar level of form in each of his last two starts (2m7f Market Rasen winner penultimate) so has to enter the reckoning off his revised mark. Trip, ground, track all fine assuming he's able to force the pace.
Veteran who hasn't won since February 2017 (heavy) and probably isn't quite the force of old nowadays. Mark easing, but has never won on anything quicker than good to soft.
Won three races in the 2016/17 season for Philip Hobbs including hurdles at Worcester and Perth (2m4f-2m7f). Back from ten months off when posting a respectable stable debut fourth at Market Rasen last month (beaten just shy of 7L).
Headed on the post when beaten a head by Midnight Maestro at Market Rasen last month; 2m4f (Royal Village fourth). Hard to win with and rapidly climbing the weights, but has fine form figures for this trainer 1,2,1,2,2,2.
Off the track since October 2017 and possibly needed that break after a busy summer/early autumn over fences. Still 7lb above his last winning hurdles mark, hence the use of 10lb claimer Tom Buckley.
Won twice over fences over the past 12 months or so (3m good), but beaten by just 1½L over C&D (hurdles) latest by Laughnane. 3lb higher tonight, but evidently well suited to this track (2,1,2) so likely thereabouts.
Enjoyed a productive spell between May and July 2017, winning three races (3m1f-3m2f+) on predominately good ground and returns fresh having had a break since October. Mark high enough, but runner up in this in 2017.
Absent since November 2017 and actually lines up for his first hurdles outing since October 2016 (better known as a chaser). Market helpful as a guide, but not considered if weak in the betting.
Recorded his first hurdles success since June 2015 when making the most of a falling mark at Huntingdon last month (3m1f good); up 4lb in a stronger race but not readily dismissed.
Last Year's Winner
Brave Eagle (4/1), Ballyalton (9/2), Royal Village (9/2), Wynford (6/1), Ozzy Thomas (6/1), Souriyan (8/1), Aviator (16/1), Lillian (20/1), Isaacstown Lad (28/1), Nachi Falls (40/1), Sadler's Risk (50/1), Raktiman (80/1)
- Ozzy Thomas
- Royal Village
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