15:00 Ascot Sat 19 January 2019
Winner of the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Festival last season and favourite for BetVictor Gold Cup there last time out but had to settle for fourth. Same mark here and remains competitive off it.
Grade One winning novice in 2017 yet to add to that but encouraging fourth here over 2m1f two starts back before highly tried latest. 2lb lower than aforementioned fourth and no issue with longer trip so has each way potential.
Dual Grade Two winning novice last season was third to Mister Whitaker first time out (4lb better off now) before his latest midfield run here. More needed now but longer trip in his favour and jockey selects over rival with sound claims.
C&D Grade Two winning novice last season improved in each start this season culminating in his third here latest in a similarly valuable 3m handicap where he looked to not quite last it out. This trip preferred and every chance of a bold bid now.
Found life tough since Aintree Grade One success with 10 winless races since spanning over next two seasons. C&D second three starts back one of his better races in that spell but lesser efforts since and higher mark here.
C&D winner of first start in 11 months here two starts back. Midfield latest in similarly valuable Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham off this 9lb higher mark but a bad error curtailed progress there so better is possible.
Won three small field novice chases last year and placed in other four starts. Continued good record when second to Mister Whitaker on return and after being brought down she again ran well at Cheltenham latest. Always goes well.
Built on promise of Newbury third in second start this term when winning at Chepstow on Welsh National day latest. 7lb rise not unreasonable given same margin length wise but this is considerably classier contest.
Winner twice in December 2017 but season rather tailed off although highly tried and over marathon trips latest two. Well beaten on return at Wetherby despite being joint fav so much more needed now.
Five-time chase winner but not since 2016 and only once placed in five starts this season. Had a wind-op since latest substandard effort at Newton Abbot but might just need this run.
Last Year's Winner
|T: H FryJ: N D Fehily|
Benatar (7/2), Cyrname (4/1), Mister Whitaker (11/2), Mr Medic (11/2), Jerrysback (6/1), Happy Diva (7/1), Belami Des Pictons (8/1), Flying Angel (12/1), San Benedeto (12/1), Divine Spear (12/1), Doitforthevillage (14/1), Quite By Chance (20/1), Get On The Yager (50/1)
- Happy Diva
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