14:10 Cheltenham Tue 12 March 2019
Useful over hurdles he's matched that form over fences despite coming late to the chasing game. Made an encouraging start to his career over fences bettering his debut effort when beating two rivals at Naas (2m) last time; open to progress.
Connections made the late decision to run him here on the back of his progressive form of late; took three rivals apart last time (raised 10lb for that effort). Not one to be taken lightly but this will be tougher; faces competition for the lead.
Finished fifth in last year's Ballymore; has improved on that form over fences getting off the mark at the third attempt. Routed a big-field in a Beginners Chase at Gowran Park last time by 15L; a repeat of that run good enough for a place at least.
Risen up through the handicap ranks to become a legitimate contender at a higher level. Annihilated two rivals including an off-colour Kalashnikov last time in a 2m Grade 2 at Sandown under an attacking ride; unlikely to get a soft lead here though.
3-5 over fences including at the highest level although that Limerick win was rather fortunate. Slightly disappointing last time in a Grade 1 over 2m5f (hampered by quicker ground/mid-race blunder); not written off back down in trip off strong pace.
Just touched off in last year's Supreme he's taken well to fences without quite reaching the same level as yet (may well get there). Disappointing behind Glen Forsa last time (made mistakes); needs to bounce back here, softer ground may help.
Another bold front-runner who fell on his chasing debut but has confirmed himself a smart novice since at 2m. Won't look out of place here although he does appear on the back of another fall last time; Grand Annual a better option for him this time.
The only C&D winner in the field on his chasing debut (also smart Grade 1 winning hurdler) he failed to fire when last seen in December (never got into any rhythm). Connections blamed the ground (soft) on that occasion; needs to find redemption.
One of two runners for this yard he's had plenty of chasing experience winning at up to Grade 3 level; not seen since finishing second to Dynamite Dollars last year (Lalor third). Usually given an attacking ride; faces plenty of pace pressure here.
Returns to the Festival having finished fourth in last year's Supreme; quickly established himself as smart over fences. Scored on his second start over fences (may have been fortunate); not always fluent, entitled to do better; back from a break.
Won his first two over hurdles here but hasn't won since (faced some stiff tasks). Showed an aptitude for fences prior to having wind surgery off the back of which he produced his best display over fences; tough task, may do better than odds suggest.
Smart form over fences (has twice chased home the now injured Le Richebourg; would have started favourite for this last twice). Has won at this trip but may need to need to step up in trip to be successful at graded level over fences.
Last Year's Winner
|T: W P MullinsJ: R Walsh|
Hardline (10/3), Glen Forsa (9/2), Duc Des Genievres (5/1), Kalashnikov (6/1), Lalor (13/2), Paloma Blue (10/1), Us And Them (14/1), Ornua (14/1), Articulum (25/1), Clondaw Castle (33/1), Knocknanuss (33/1), Slate House (66/1)
- Duc Des Genievres
- Glen Forsa
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