13:00 Aintree Sat 8 December 2018
Classy Grade One and multiple Grade Two placed hurdler failed to fire this season in three starts although all have come on a sound surface and he arguably prefers softer conditions. Handicap fallen and now gets said ground so much better expected.
Caused a major upset when winning the Scottish Champion Hurdle to end last season. Ran well on return off revised mark at Wetherby before finishing down the field in ultra competitive Greatwood. This easier however and softer ground no issue.
Prolific after joining this yard, winning three hurdle and two flat races. Won last start at Bangor but that almost a year ago. Absence since raises a few doubts and this a tough place to start out so others appeal more.
Highly tried and often struggled as a result for Gordon Elliott winning just once over fences where he was campaigned most recently. Less exposed over hurdles so not totally ruled out here on first run for this yard.
As many do when joining this yard he seems to have improved of late winning twice over 2m7½f at Uttoxeter and fell when going well in between. 7lb higher now and softer ground but handled that in Ireland and could still be on the up.
Had a quite campaign last season running just three times and placing in each. Below that effort on return where last of nine at Carlisle however although faster ground possibly the excuse. Should fare better here and has each-way potential.
Dual 2m1½f hurdler winner as a juvenile and subsequently won a decent 2m2f flat race before finishing fourth at Royal Ascot when last seen 18 month ago. Hard to guess at his current fitness but unexposed and off an appealing mark.
Lightly raced mare got off the mark at the fifth time of asking to end last season when winning easily in a modest race at Huntingdon. Unseated at the first in recent chase debut and now switches back to hurdles in a much tougher contest.
One from six over hurdles to date, that win having come at Musselburgh. Beaten a nose penultimately at Cartmel before disappointing more recently. Wind surgery in absence since perhaps explains that run but tough ask here.
Useful hurdler in 2016 but not ran over timber since missing 508 days. Eight runs on the level this season saw gradual improvement and a win over 1m6½f in penultimate start. Hard to gauge now back hurdling but mark here not impossible.
Lightly raced hurdler ran an excellent race on return when 1L second to potentially very well handicapped Speedo Boy at Cheltenham on good ground. Also handled soft last season so no concerns in that regard and genuine chances here now.
Last Year's Winner
|T: J M JeffersonJ: B S Hughes|
Mahlervous (9/4), Midnight Shadow (4/1), Dubai Angel (13/2), Faithful Mount (15/2), Rainbow Dreamer (8/1), Notwhatiam (9/1), Jetstream Jack (12/1), Jet Set (18/1), Ch'tibello (20/1), Tawseef (33/1), Uptown Funk (33/1)
- Rainbow Dreamer
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