14:10 Kelso Sun 9 December 2018
Very game winner of the 3m3f Grade 3 Bet Victor Chase at Cheltenham in November 2017 (beat Vicente by a neck), but pretty much all downhill since including when falling at the first in the 2018 Grand National; mark gradually easing in a lesser race.
Runner-up in the 3m Perth Gold Cup in June (a race that he'd won narrowly in 2017) but has faced the starter only once since when finishing in the ruck in the Listed Summer Cup (3m2f, Uttoxeter); strongest on a sound racing surface.
Enjoyed his best day when beating Double W's by 1½L in a 2m Class 2 Handicap at Doncaster in January 2017 (good); most of his recent racing has come over 2m-2m4f but he does also stay further (runner-up in the 2m7f Listed Premier Chase in 2015).
Out of his depth on his first start since wind surgery when left toiling in the 3m5f Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April; had previously won back-to-back 3m Class 2 races at Exeter (heavy) and Doncaster (good to soft); 5lb above last winning mark.
Shown no leniency by the handicapper after finishing just under 3L second to Kimberlite Candy at Ayr (3m, heavy) latest; his previous form at this track stacks up well, including when finishing 4½L third to Vivaldi Collonges in this race in 2015.
Finished in midfield in the 2016 Borders National and whilst his subsequent Kelso form figures read 223 those runs were actually in Hunter Chases; off the track since May and almost certain to find this a tough 'gig' on his seasonal return.
Ready winner of the 2m4f Veterans' race at Newcastle's opening NH fixture last month (good), with that being his second victory in that race in three years; up 5lb; handles Kelso - finished 11L third to Gas Line Boy in this race in 2016.
At his best when allowed an uncontested lead, winning from a similar mark at Perth (3m, soft) in August 2017; not disgraced on return from a 14-month absence at Bangor and could well progress but this is far more competitive.
Last Year's Winner
Band Of Blood (2/1), Beeves (4/1), Upsilon Bleu (5/1), Cultram Abbey (13/2), Jet Master (10/1), Samstown (10/1), Perfect Candidate (11/1), Silver Tassie (12/1), Valleyofmilan (22/1)
- Band Of Blood
- Silver Tassie
- Jet Master
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