15:30 Cheltenham Fri 15 March 2019
One of four runners from this yard (hold a strong hand in this division) he fell in last year's RSA before throwing away a Grade 1 at Punchestown. Capable at this level (unfulfilled potential); won well when last seen on New Year's Day at Tramore.
High-class chaser, third in this last year (loved the testing conditions); then finished fourth in the Grand National. Brought along very quietly this season (two runs over inadequate trips); would have a place chance again in similar conditions.
Festival regular since 2015 (missed last year) he's proven at this level over fences, turning in his best performance last time out to win Irish Gold Cup), reversing recent form with Road To Respect. Jumps well and each-way chance in an open year.
Flat tracks appear to suit him much better although he did finish runner-up in the JLT here. Has on occasion turned in some devastating performances but fell in the King George last time. Doubts remain that he can improve on his seventh in 2017.
The fresh face this year his King George victory saw him blow away five of today's rivals (Thistlecrack nearest); warmed up for this with an easy victory since. Jumps very well but does still have a stamina question to answer; 0-4 at Cheltenham.
Sixth in this last year when suited by the conditions (went off an 8-1 chance) he arrived on the back of two Grade 2 victories. Two more successes at that level have followed this season but that may be as good he is; beaten in a match last time.
Has on occasions run well at the highest level but looks happier off big weights in decent handicaps these days. Ran well when second in handicap last time but this surely looks a bridge too far.
Tough and genuine sort who gives his trainer a strong hand; finished third in last season's RSA (behind Presenting Percy). Showed his true worth this season as a staying chaser (after a wind op); won Welsh Grand National, needs a real stamina test.
Outsider of the quartet from this yard (pulled-up in last year's JLT); has shown some useful form over fences; topped off by his Thyestes win last time out. Often travels strongly but found out at this level before; more needed.
Fourth to Shattered Love (JLT last year) he's come on leaps and bounds since then winning his last four races; best performance last time (Savills Chase; good guide to this). Dismissed some proven Grade 1 performers there; unexposed at staying trips.
Went down fighting last year in this (narrowly beaten by Native River); won the RSA the year before. Produced two lacklustre performances since then at Grade 1 level (bled in the King George); wind op since, hard to see him back at his best.
Last year's hero going two better than the previous year to win an epic battle versus Might Bite. Done better than his old adversary this year without having ideal conditions although it looks as though conditions will be in his favour here.
Dual Festival winner (Pertemps/RSA) who has developed into a high-class chaser although he won't have been seen over fences since his RSA win. Just the one run (and win) in public since last year; will do well to win/justify his price off that prep.
Injuries appear to have robbed this top-class performer of his chance to land this although he has looked back to his best in two starts this season. Has a chance to reverse King George form with Clan Des Obeaux; advancing years make him vulnerable.
Smart chaser at handicap level (very good third to Elegant Escape; Welsh Grand National) but turned in a rare poor effort last time at Haydock. Can front run and may have his moment in glory out in front but surprising if he was good enough.
Only mare in the field (last year's JLT winner by 7L) but hasn't won since that success (may have slipped under the radar). Reportedly had sore shins when below-par (behind Kemboy) last time; given time/wind op, not out of this.
Last Year's Winner
|T: C L TizzardJ: R Johnson|
Presenting Percy (10/3), Clan Des Obeaux (5/1), Native River (6/1), Kemboy (8/1), Bellshill (9/1), Al Boum Photo (12/1), Thistlecrack (12/1), Might Bite (14/1), Bristol De Mai (18/1), Elegant Escape (20/1), Shattered Love (20/1), Anibale Fly (22/1), Invitation Only (33/1), Definitly Red (50/1), Yala Enki (100/1), Double Shuffle (100/1)
- Native River
- Shattered Love
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