14:05 Wincanton Thu 6 December 2018
Won three of six starts over hurdles last term culminating in a decent sixth in the valuable Swinton hurdle at Haydock. Same mark here (9lb higher than last win) but starts new campaign with plenty of scope for further improvement.
Three-time novice hurdle winner has yet to make the frame in three handicap starts. Two runs this campaign seen him beaten 35L and 28L so latest 2lb fall not enough to recommend him.
Raised 9lb for Ayr handicap win and struggled next when fourth of seven beaten 10L at Newton Abbot. Not obviously well handicapped for return so unsurprising he appears stable second string on jockey bookings.
Two Huntingdon wins this season with a pulled-up at Cheltenham in between. 4lb rise for latest 2L success not unfair and merits respect once again here with champion jockey back on board.
Previous C&D winner albeit way back in 2013. Only won once since so strike rate pretty ordinary but ran best race for quite some time latest when 2½L third to Snapdragon Fire at Huntingdon. 4lb better off now but younger rival is improving.
Had a profitable 17/18 season landing a hat-trick and placing the next twice before finally running below par. May have needed return this season but latest 10L third at Newbury a better effort and gets 3lb back now so has each-way potential.
French hurdles scorer got his head in front for the first time for these connections latest only to be disqualified and placed second. Should improve for that run given it came after a break so can overcome 3lb rise and go close here.
French bumper winner now 0-9 for this yard although went close on return at Taunton when second and possibly went too soon there when travelling like a winner. 5lb higher here but still lightly raced and suspect he will improve this season.
Plumpton maiden hurdle winner failed to build on that last term and weakened quite rapidly on return at Fontwell when eighth of 11 beaten 17L. Can improve now with fitness boosted but career best needed.
Maiden of seven starts has shown some ability along the way. Fell at the fourth on his handicap debut back in July and off since. Best days likely still ahead but evidence so far not compelling.
Firm ground C&D winner on penultimate start finished second next at Taunton on a similar surface. Considerably higher mark than three previous handicap wins now but seems to be on the up so should still be competitive if as happy on this ground.
Over two years now since his last win and over five since the last over hurdles. Remote thirds and fourths in small fields to end last campaign someway short of the required so hard to fancy first time out.
Last Year's Winner
|T: Mrs S GardnerJ: Lucy Gardner|
Darling Maltaix (2/1), Snapdragon Fire (5/1), Our Merlin (11/2), Jaboticaba (17/2), The Premier Celtic (9/1), Dino Velvet (14/1), Minellaforleisure (16/1), Lord Napier (20/1), Borak (20/1), Arthington (20/1), Shillingsworth (20/1), Un Beau Roman (80/1)
- Lord Napier
- Darling Maltaix
Log in for access to this exclusive content.
Next Race Off
Ben Linfoot is back in the Nap hot-seat on Wednesday and he's taking a chance on a novice chaser who looks potentially well treated.
Nick Grant previews the action on Wednesday and reckons John Gosden will be among the winners at Lingfield.
Matt Brocklebank has already had winners at 33/1 and 12/1 this jumps season - don't miss his 16/1 antepost recommendation for Ascot this weekend.