14:10 Ascot Sat 16 February 2019
Popular 2015 Gold Cup winner ran best race for some time first time out when third over 3m3½f at Cheltenham. King George too much latest but back at this level he is a genuine threat from the front.
Incredible novice campaign yielded eight wins. Quieter time of it this season but running on second latest over an inadequate 2m4½f encouraging and genuine claims now back up to ideal distance.
C&D winner last February and only 2lb higher than that mark today. Down the field in lone start this term back in November but no doubt he is at an attractive weight again. Market may give clues to readiness.
Hard to win with but excellent C&D second in November (2lb lower) would give him claims. Not quite at that level the last twice but remains at a mark where he can make his presence felt.
Four-time winner for Sue Smith who stays 4m and appreciates deep ground. Out of sorts on stable bow but that over hurdles and after lengthy absence. Would prefer further and more cut so others preferred.
Three-time chase winner seemingly handled first crack at 3m latest when a solid third at Doncaster despite jumping errors. Genuine claims here off same mark and a smoother round of jumping would help.
Become quite consistent overall until slightly disappointing at Warwick latest where he made a couple of mid race errors. Can do better with a clear round but little to suggest he's well treated handicap wise.
Novice won a Wincanton handicap in his second start and looked set to follow up next at Newbury but made a bad blunder when in-front at the last and then tied up late on over 3m2f. Huge chance to make amends at the weights.
Last Year's Winner
|T: A J HoneyballJ: R P McLernon|
Black Corton (10/3), Reikers Island (4/1), Calipto (9/2), Coneygree (11/2), Regal Encore (6/1), Art Mauresque (13/2), Crievehill (12/1), Smooth Stepper (20/1)
- Reikers Island
- Black Corton
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