15:45 Haydock Sat 19 January 2019
Front-runner with a modest record over fences (1-16); has gradually become more productive with each of his three appearances this season, and was only beaten 2¼L by Admiral's Secret at Wincanton (2m) on Boxing Day.
Ludlow maiden hurdle winner (2m, good to soft) in November 2017; back on track for the first time in 12-months when finishing a staying on fourth to Calipso Collonges on chasing debut at Uttoxeter (2m4f, soft) on New Years Eve.
Raised 5lb for beating Ontopoftheworld (Dicosimo third) at Wincanton (2m) on Boxing Day; continues to progress over fences (now 3-7), so could potentially confirm that form despite re-opposing with the Greatrex-trained runner on 6lb worse terms.
Has offered hope for the future by making the frame in both starts over fences, including when fended off by 4½L by Kauto Riko over C&D (heavy) in December; handicap mark left untouched; contender.
Goes particularly well around Kelso, yet it was at Bangor (2m1f, soft) where he made the most of a slowly easing mark to beat Uno Valoroso by 5L; a 5lb rise looks fair so couldn't be entirely discounted.
Gamely downed the sadly ill-fated veteran Tornado In Milan when winning this contest for the third successive year in 2018, and lines up off his last winning mark (122); unseated his rider at the first over C&D latest.
Not all that far behind Zalvados (second) when finishing fourth to Kauto Riko over C&D on his penultimate start (28/1) but is still searching for his maiden win over fences (0-6) at the age of 11, and that's troubling.
Falling in the weights following a largely unproductive spell since winning at Southwell (2m, good) in May; tough to enthuse over after another poor show at Kelso (2m1f, good) latest.
Lined up in competitive action earlier this month for the first time in well over two years, racing keenly accordingly until departing at the third fence; makes precious little appeal in newly applied headgear.
Last Year's Winner
|T: D McCain JnrJ: W T Kennedy|
Zalvados (2/1), Admiral's Secret (7/2), New To This Town (5/1), Vendor (11/2), Dicosimo (8/1), Ubaltique (8/1), Deadly Approach (25/1), Vengeur De Guye (25/1), Oliver's Gold (40/1)
- Admiral's Secret
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