15:30 Cheltenham Sat 17 November 2018
Wins at Wetherby (2m3½f) and Hereford (2m5½f) last season with the latter his final start of the campaign. Only upped 3lb for that 11L win and this former festival bumper fifth is now getting his act together so has genuine chances.
Only won one of six hurdle starts to date but looked a good race he finished second in on recent reappearance at Chepstow (2m3½f). Only raised 2lb so can't be ruled out here with ground to his liking.
Easy winner at Uttoxeter and Perth in first two starts this term but no show last time when tailed off at Chepstow. Handicapper may now have his measure and last run hard to ignore.
Newton Abbot winner in August has since finished second at the same venue and third at Worcester showing an appreciation of good ground. Up in class now so task gets tougher with handicap appearing high enough.
Winning point-to-pointer won first two starts under rules at Warwick and Carlisle (latest at odds of 1/8). Pulled up before three out next in Aintree Grade One but this more realistic. First handicap but plenty of weight for what he's achieved.
Proved victorious on his first run for this yard but that only came in a small-field novice when he started odds-on. Found life much tougher last time when 4th in a handicap here; same story applicable off the same mark.
Well beaten third behind Westend Story at Hereford last term before winning weak race at Ludlow. Good second to start this campaign at Aintree so may remain on the up although he needs to be here.
Won first time out this term at Fontwell but fell there next time at the same venue and then struggled here finishing eighth of 20 last term. Others make more appeal.
Won three of six career starts and last two hurdle races over 2m5f at Kelso in novice company. Very impressive in most recent of them so is interesting here despite sizable step up in class.
Taunton maiden hurdle winner stepped up in class here next and was found out as he toiled home in 10th of 14. Looks too high in the handicap on achievements to date.
Won final start for Nicky Henderson last term and continued progress when an excellent third of 20 over C&D on stable debut last month. 2lb rise for that not unfair especially considering trouble in running so major player here.
Southwell maiden hurdle winner was second on handicap debut at Warwick albeit beaten 20L before finishing 13th of 22 here beaten 14L. More needed to contend here.
High class flat performer last seen finishing sixth of 33 in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket. Won second of three hurdle starts last term before finding soft ground and top class Apples Shakira a different proposition. Opening mark looks very lenient.
Irish raider won by 20L at Limerick in April but disappointed next. Two solid efforts this term at Listowel finishing third (of 12) and second (of 14). More needed here and may prefer softer conditions.
Last Year's Winner
|T: M BlakeJ: Brendan Powell|
Speedo Boy (4/1), Christmas In April (4/1), Westend Story (11/2), Lygon Rock (13/2), Point Of Principle (11/1), Serosevsky (12/1), Aye Right (14/1), Dell Oro (14/1), Lungarno Palace (16/1), Internal Transfer (16/1), Equus Millar (25/1), Le Musee (25/1), Louse Talk (25/1), Mahlervous (28/1), Mellow Ben (33/1)
- Speedo Boy
- Westend Story
- Christmas In April
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