15:15 Haydock Sat 19 January 2019
Sidelined by injury since winning the Grand National in 2017 (good to soft), he got no further than the third fence on his return to action in the Many Clouds Chase (Grade 2) in December; negotiating a safe round is surely the primary objective.
Placed in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle (a race in which he'd beaten Bristol De Mai in 2016) on his return from a 22-month absence but well beaten next time at Ascot by Valtor; finished runner-up in this race in 2017.
1-2 at Haydock (2m4f winner in 2015); hasn't really got his season going just yet - finished fourth to Lake View Lad in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day; stays well as shown in his Rehearsal (2015) and Sky Bet Chase (2018) wins.
Lightly raced for his age but sports a 33% strike-rate (2-6) over fences; off the track for 25-months since winning the 3m2f Grade 3 Unicoin Group Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in December 2017; now 4lb higher in the weights.
Progressive; visored and stayed on strongly from the last when beating Ballyarthur by 1L in the Tommy Whittle Chase (2m7f, heavy) here in December; raised 5lb since and likely suited by this extra yardage; less testing ground a minor concern.
Finished runner-up to The Dutchman (beaten 13L) in this race in 2018 and has a fine overall Haydock record - 6L winner of the 2017 Tommy Whittle Chase (2m7f, heavy); sits on a reasonably competitive mark (144) returned to more traditional fences.
A legend at Fergal O'Brien's and a determined winner of the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter (4m1f+, soft) in 2017; has toiled more latterly in strong staying handicaps; easing in the weights with past Haydock form figures reading 2,1.
Progressive (3-8 over fences); 10lb higher than when winning here on his penultimate start (3m4f, good) but a game second to Morney Wing in the London National (Sandown) since; should handle dropping back in trip - dual 3m winner on soft.
Has mixed hurdling with chasing and is seemingly sharpest between 2m4f-2m5f; high enough in the weights over fences, largely attributed to his 2017 Graduation Chase win at Market Rasen; has plenty on his plate in this type of company.
Beaten 1L by Daklondike in the Tommy Whittle Chase (2m7f, heavy) here in December and re-opposes on 1lb better terms; stamina reserves the obvious question mark; competes from 3lb out of the handicap.
Useful hurdler; stays well and is steadily getting his act together over fences after an absence from racing; went down all guns blazing to Carole's Destrier in the Mandarin (3m2f) at Newbury latest; 5lb out of the handicap; cheekpieces added.
Last Year's Winner
|T: C L TizzardJ: H Cobden|
Daklondike (4/1), Valtor (9/2), Wakanda (6/1), Ballydine (13/2), Robinsfirth (7/1), Red Infantry (7/1), Otago Trail (7/1), Captain Redbeard (15/2), Three Musketeers (9/1), Ballyarthur (16/1), One For Arthur (25/1), Chase The Spud (40/1)
- Red Infantry
- Captain Redbeard
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