14:10 Cheltenham Fri 15 March 2019
Impressive winner of this last year. Not the most consistent type, as seen last time out when failing to back up a Grade 3 success at Ascot when well beaten at Haydock. 14lb higher than last year's renewal and vulnerable to more progressive types.
Enjoyed a remarkable 2017/18 season, unbeaten in five starts culminating in a Grade 1 success at Aintree. Hasn't been in the same form this term but got back on track last time when dropped in class and not one to rule out now he gets his ground.
Course winner last year and went on to finish a respectable sixth in the Supreme. Has been running some fair races this term but looks vulnerable from this mark. Wears first-time blinkers.
Won first two hurdles including a Leopardstown Grade 1 (soft). Runner-up three times since but the form of his latest run franked emphatically in the Champion Hurdle and he can go well for a yard that have won this race four times in 10 years.
Hasn't won since a heavy ground Haydock success in 2016 but can run well at a price, as seen last time out when runner-up at Aintree. Needs to build on that now on first start since a wind operation.
Three wins from nine starts over hurdles to date and he produced a career best when runner-up at Ascot in December. Can be forgiven a subsequent effort when halted at a crucial stage and the ground has seemingly come in his favour.
Grade 1 winner over hurdles last season and in excellent form through the remainder of that campaign. Unsuited by Flat racing throughout the summer but conceivably on a nice mark on return to this sphere.
Struggled for Ben Pauling but made a winning debut for this yard at Ludlow and he was an excellent third in the Galway next time out. Beaten over fences last time at Worcester when odds-on but remains on a nice mark over hurdles.
Dual purpose performer who rattled off a hat-trick over hurdles in the summer. Not at his best last time at Bangor and while he's been freshened up subsequently, the ground has surely gone against him here.
Won four last season including a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse. Didn't take to life over fences and showed nothing on return to hurdles last time. Handicapper has given him a stiff task off this sort of mark.
Won the Grade 1 Novice Hurdle at Aintree in 2017 but has shown nothing in three starts this season following a prolonged absence and yard form is a concern. Wears first-time blinkers and tongue-tie.
Has won twice over fences this season and put up an excellent effort in defeat at Taunton last time back over hurdles. Not consistent but he's capable from this handicap mark.
Arrives here bidding for a four-timer after his Newbury success last time out. Won with a bit in hand that day and only has a 5lb penalty to carry. Claims if he can settle better.
Got the better of Sternrubin in a battle at Taunton last time out and has his second start since a wind operation here. All his wins have come with good in the ground so may not want the ground to get too testing. Yard flying at present.
Only has a maiden hurdle success to her name but she's been running well in defeat on recent starts. That hasn't gone unnoticed by the handicapper though and looks vulnerable from this handicap mark.
Seemingly doesn't know how to run a bad race and while he was beaten in a hat-trick bid last time, he ran well enough in defeat. A return to more cut in the ground should suit, as will this stiffer test. Interesting contender.
Won at Punchestown in December but the form of that race hasn't worked out well and he's been beaten up in class since. While he's still lightly raced, he may not be able to overcome this sort of handicap mark.
Has looked progressive since joining this yard with back-to-back career best efforts at the start of the campaign, including a win here. Returned to action with a good fourth at Sandown last time and may still be capable of better.
Mutliple Grade 2 winner in French bumpers and she made a promising start for this yard last season, winning twice before a fifth in the mares' novice hurdle here. Trainer can ready one off an absence and she could be leniently handicapped.
Last win came at Sedgefield and returned with a promising enough effort in a 17 runner Leopardstown handicap (Cut The Mustard runner-up). Interesting if he comes on for that run.
French recruit who has improved with every start for this yard and ran a huge race when out of the handicap at Sandown last week. Looks sure to go well and will relish a return to testing conditions here.
Won his first two starts over hurdles and has been running well in defeat subsequently. The concern would be all his better efforts have come on better ground but still lightly raced and there may be more to come.
Was running well at the end of the summer and rattled off a hat-trick but he's completely lost his way subsequently and hard to fancy after he was tailed off after a mid-season break last time.
Won twice this season but beaten last time out in a far weaker race than this and he's a long way out of the handicap for him to be considered here.
Last Year's Winner
|T: D SkeltonJ: Bridget Andrews|
Whiskey Sour (5/1), Monsieur Lecoq (13/2), Crooks Peak (8/1), Eclair De Beaufeu (8/1), Mr Adjudicator (10/1), Ch'tibello (12/1), Capitaine (12/1), We Have A Dream (14/1), Ar Mest (14/1), Countister (18/1), Cut The Mustard (20/1), Leoncavallo (20/1), Western Ryder (20/1), Magic Dancer (20/1), Lisp (25/1), Sternrubin (25/1), Thistle Do Nicely (28/1), Due Reward (33/1), Storm Rising (33/1), Pingshou (33/1), Mitchouka (33/1), Mohaayed (40/1), High Expectations (40/1), Brex Drago (66/1), Mister Fizz (100/1), Chieftain's Choice (100/1)
- Monsieur Lecoq
- We Have A Dream
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