15:30 Cheltenham Thu 14 March 2019
Has failed to finish in his two previous starts at the Festival and fell last time out over fences. Return to hurdles in his favour but has a bit to prove at present and down the order on jockey bookings.
Latest success came in a Grade 2 at Autueil in the summer and ran up to his best behind the Gold Cup favourite in the Galmoy hurdle last time out. Possible there's more to come at this trip and not dismissed.
Only found one too good in 2018's Ballymore and several of his better efforts have come here. Aborted his chase career and ran well in the Cleeve last time over C&D on return to hurdles but has plenty on to turn around the form with Paisley Park.
Looked promising when winning a Grade 2 on heavy ground at Fairyhouse last year but has lost his way since and has plenty to prove after finishing tailed off at Punchestown last time out. Ground in his favour at least.
14 wins from 20 starts under Rules including the Champion Hurdle in 2015. Showed he retained ability when bolting up in the Irish Champion Stayers' last year but beaten at short odds on return and took a bad fall last time; needs to bounce back.
Runner-up in a competitive handicap here at the International Meeting but that form is a long way below what is required in this contest and well beaten at Sandown last time.
Won the Albert Bartlett here last year and unbeaten in two starts over C&D. Switches back to hurdles after disappointing last time out at Newbury and, while that's a positive to his chance, the yard form has to be a concern.
Just three wins from 32 starts over hurdles. Exposed and as his official rating of 130 suggests, completely out of his depth.
Seemingly still improving in recent times and ran well in a C&D handicap last time but takes a huge step up in class for this contest and hard to make a case for on all known form.
Hugely progressive this season and showed his Grade 1 success at Ascot was no fluke when bolting up in the C&D Cleeve last time. Every chance he will win this with a reproduction of that effort and ground conditions all seem alike to him.
Third in 2017's Champion Hurdle and won on chase debut next time out but hasn't won since. Stamina a complete unknown up at this trip and would need a career best by some way to win this.
Favourite for this last year but seemingly didn't set a strong enough gallop for his front running style. Things have gone from bad to worse since unseating twice this season and only fourth in the Cleeve. Each-way squeek if he can build on that.
Best efforts have come at staying trips including in this race last year and not disgraced over shorter lately, most recently when a distant runner-up behind Apple's Jade. Consistent sort and has each-way claims again in first-time tongue-tie.
C&D winner in handicap company at the Showcase Meeting and while he has run okay in some graded race since, this is much tougher and he was well beaten in the Cleeve last time. Hard to fancy,
Prolific over fences and ran well when third behind Paisley Park in Grade 1 class on a rare hurdles start in December. Interesting back in this discipline now and handles testing conditions well.
Finshed best of the rest when well beaten by Paisley Park last time out but finished closer to that rival prior to that at Ascot in Grade 1 class. Yard form is a concern but not one that can be ruled out as far as minor honours are concerned.
Generally a very consistent type bar a rare disappointing effort in the Cleeve last time. Rates as the type to bounce back and he finished third in this race last year. Perhaps lacks the scope to win but likely to run well.
Sixth in this race last year but not always the slickest jumper and he disappointed on his seasonal return when pulled up (11/8fav). Has a bit to prove in this class. Wears first-time blinkers.
Last Year's Winner
|T: W P MullinsJ: P Townend|
Paisley Park (11/8), Faugheen (4/1), Supasundae (9/1), Top Notch (12/1), Black Op (14/1), Bapaume (16/1), Kilbricken Storm (16/1), Bacardys (20/1), Petit Mouchoir (25/1), Sam Spinner (33/1), Wholestone (33/1), West Approach (33/1), Yanworth (33/1), The Mighty Don (66/1), Keeper Hill (66/1), Coquin Mans (100/1), Nautical Nitwit (100/1), Man Of Plenty (200/1)
- Paisley Park
- West Approach
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