14:40 Kempton Sat 12 January 2019
Knocked on the door several times over hurdles but made his breakthrough latest when upped to this trip at Ascot and could hardly have been more impressive in the way he scythed through the field on the bit. Up 12lb but serious potential here.
Lightly raced sort gained first win over hurdles at Towcester in May and followed up over 2m5f on return at Ascot. Found a 3m Cheltenham Grade Two beyond him latest but prospects greater here for last year's winning yard.
Enjoying a fruitful season with wins at Fakenham and Fontwell followed by seconds here and at Doncaster. Narrowly foiled last time out but upped a further 2lb for this more competitive contest so life tougher now.
Doncaster novice winner showed smart form during that campaign and after finishing down the field on return at Cheltenham he showed that he could be capable off this sort of mark latest when a 7L second at Fontwell.
Failed to win last season although only had the three starts. Competitive this term in handicaps at Newton Abbot and Stratford before finding a red-hot Newbury contest beyond him. Others appeal as better handicapped.
Had a decent spell in the summer before lesser efforts the last twice in sixth at Uttoxeter and Worcester. More needed here after a break and best form may still prove short.
Two from four over hurdles as a novice last term including winning opening handicap at Market Rasen. Last of seven on return at Doncaster but could come on for that and only 1lb higher than win. Up in trip also so possibilities for improvement.
Improved sort this season with three wins in as many starts. Landed a maiden at Huntingdon, a novice at Exeter and a handicap at Leicester. Up 4lb here but clearly on the up and no problems with ground or trip so merits respect again.
Off the mark over hurdles courtesy of a Hereford novice success (2m3½f) and duly followed up at the same course since under a penalty. Interesting on this his first handicap try but must prove effectiveness on sounder surface.
Won three of last four starts last season including twice over 2m4f. Fourth of 12 at Wincanton and sixth of 21 at Ascot this term both over 1m7½f showed a horse crying out for a step up in trip. Big chance now he gets it.
Classy flat performer in France (won five, Listed placed) took time to get his act together over hurdles but ready wins at Leicester (9L) and Doncaster (7L) the last twice show he's now fully acclimatised. Looks well ahead of the handicapper.
Consistent sort has been running soundly this term with a win at Fontwell and sound efforts the last twice at Cheltenham (fourth) and over C&D (second). Up 3lb and a couple of levels in class now so this tougher.
Built on Wetherby second when easily scoring on good to firm ground at Doncaster in December. 9lb hike for that leaves him vulnerable especially in a much warmer contest.
Yet to win for this yard since joining in August 2017 but ran best race to date latest when a 4L second to Darling Maltaix at Ascot. 9lb better off with reopposing rival but facile manner of success means reversal unlikely.
Last Year's Winner
|T: N J HendersonJ: James Bowen|
Kloud Gate (7/2), Lord Napier (7/1), Mellow Ben (8/1), Erick Le Rouge (8/1), Doux Pretender (8/1), Star Of Lanka (9/1), Cotswold Way (9/1), Darling Maltaix (10/1), Solomon Grey (12/1), And The New (12/1), Big Time Dancer (16/1), Canyon City (16/1), Sleep Easy (20/1), Milrow (33/1), Theatrebar (50/1)
- Kloud Gate
- Darling Maltaix
- Lord Napier
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