17:30 Cheltenham Fri 15 March 2019
Third in this race last year, he's only rated 3lb higher now for a second bid having been toiling in Grade 1 races since in his two starts this season. Not written off, despite the heavy burden.
153-rated chaser at best, he's also a three-time winner over timber. Hasn't been spotted for more than a year and rated to need his absolute best now on return. Long time since he jumped hurdles.
Kicked off the current campaign with a commanding 5L win at Wincanton (2m5f, good) in November, she has run well in three starts in Graded/Listed events against her own sex. This is tough, but she's game and may go well.
Won the Imperial Cup last year on soft going (rated 130), he'll relish the big field and conditions/rating won't stop him being competitive. This is right on the end of his stamina limitations however.
Consistent sort in top-level novice contests in Ireland this season over various trips without winning. Has handled soft, and last summer's maiden hurdle win was over this sort of journey. Not too harshly treated by the handicapper, one to note.
Heavy-ground winner in France, has won his last two over timber in Ireland, including on handicap debut over 3m (good). 10lb higher mark to contend with down in trip, but going the right way as trainer seeks three in a row in this contest.
Winner of a 2m5f good-ground Ballymore Trial here in November, he hasn't built on that in two starts since, including last time in a Wetherby novice over shorter when runner-up as odds-on favourite. Tailed off behind Samcro here last year.
Runner-up in the Fred Winter last year over shorter trip (soft), he's mixed hurdles and chasing (and wind surgery) since with mixed results. Yet to race over this far and on career-high mark in this sphere.
Closely matched with Getareason on his best Irish form this season, he has come up short in graded novice races of late and doesn't appear to be the trainer's leading hope of a third straight win in this race. Not discounted.
Well thought of by Nicky Henderson, he was caught for toe by Coolanly here in November (2m5f, good); was a winner of a Kempton novice in January since and is respected, though some worries about testing ground exist.
Some smart form to his name on the Flat, he was impressive when netting second hurdles win (from seven) at Clonmel in January (2m3½f, yielding), though he's been handed a stiff-looking task from a mark of 138 now.
Grade 3 handicap winner at Chepstow (2m3f, good) in October, acts over a variety of trips but surely must raise game to land this sort of competitive pot.
Placed in his last three starts in maiden hurdles, he's clashed with some good animals including Supreme fourth Fakir D'oudairies. Handicapper hasn't missed his potential, but could still go very well for excellent yard.
Fair Flat form, winning multiple times at up to 2m, was a Listed hurdle winner in 2018 over 2m (soft) and last month's Leopardstown run in valuable handicap was better than bare figures suggest. Will relish conditions.
Midfield in the Coral Cup here last season over 2m5f (soft) off a mark of 142. Well held over fences in January on debut for new trainer, certainly not out of things from this mark at his best.
Progressing in handicaps with wins at Doncaster and Kempton either side of New Year at up to 2m5f, latest in a Listed event. High enough mark now though and not certain to relish the forecast slow ground.
Comes here off the back of a career-best in winning at Taunton (3m, soft) last month. Given a hefty rise of 10lb for that success and drops in trip. Will handle conditions, stamina a plus.
Taunton winner over 2m3f (good) in January off a mark of 125, held since at Kempton and is another with a possible concern that the ground will be against him.
Gets the trip and will handle a testing surface, but it's a while since he was able to show his best form, though last month's Carlisle second was a step back in the right direction.
Lightly-raced and has won 2-3 over timber so far, latest when upped to 2m3½f at Doncaster. Hadn't much to spare and is going in at the deep end on handicap bow for sure.
Twice a winner this season on testing ground at Ludlow and Uttoxeter at up to 2m5f, stays 3m which is an asset here and is one very likely to enjoy the prevailing soft ground, not out of things.
Heavy-ground winner in France, has posted a couple of useful efforts in four runs since joining this trainer and goes up in trip here, with potential for much better if seeing the trip out.
Ran well enough in 2m5f graded event here in November won by Coolanly but has lost his way since and unlikely to have the answers now.
Made a winning start over timber at Lingfield in November and wasn't disgraced afterwards in pair of graded contest at Ascot and Warwick. Passed up a good chance at Carlisle (2m3½f, good) since however and now back in deeper water.
Last Year's Winner
|Blow By Blow||7||11-10||11/1|
|T: G ElliottJ: D Meyler|
Dallas Des Pictons (7/2), Early Doors (5/1), Cartwright (9/1), Getareason (9/1), Pym (12/1), Defi Bleu (14/1), Champagne Court (14/1), If You Say Run (14/1), Daybreak Boy (16/1), Coolanly (20/1), Discordantly (25/1), Burrows Park (25/1), Style De Garde (25/1), Acapella Bourgeois (25/1), Garo De Juilley (28/1), Doctor Dex (33/1), Mr Antolini (33/1), Le Musee (33/1), Big Time Dancer (33/1), Mount Mews (33/1), Not That Fuisse (33/1), Casa Tall (40/1), Sakhee's City (50/1), Kapgarry (66/1)
- Style De Garde
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