15:10 Newcastle Sat 16 March 2019
Boasts a impressive record over hurdles (6-16) - boosted by successive 2m heavy ground wins at Lingfield and Ffos Las in December; 12lb above his last winning mark, albeit that form has been boosted since by Thursday's Hexham winner Llantara.
Productive on soft/heavy ground during the spring of 2018, winning at Warwick, Taunton and Plumpton; returns from a break having finished down the field in the Grade 3 Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November; trainer 5-11 (45%) at Newcastle.
Unlikely to be troubled by the forecast conditions, yet remains plenty high enough in the weights (8lb above his last winning mark); inconclusive as to exactly what constitutes his optimum trip; better fancied stablemate of Horst.
Formerly with Alan King, he's without a win since January 2016 (2m4f+ Plumpton, heavy); has fallen on five of his ten starts since and that makes him a risky proposition; out-ran his odds of 66/1 at Haydock (2m2f) in December.
Struggled to make much of an impression when set some fairly difficult tasks last season (including in the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth); now finally beginning to ease in the weights, albeit without an upturn in fortunes just yet; good 7lb claimer booked.
Heavy ground bumper winner who is relatively inexperienced over hurdles, with just a 2m Ayr maiden success on his CV thus far; interesting to see how he copes with an opening mark of 122; capable of further improvement.
Beaten by a short-head at Hexham in November (2m, soft) and has raced over hurdles just the once since; 5lb above that last winning mark and perfectly relevant to acknowledge that this race today is a grade higher (Class 3).
Soft ground hurdles winner in France for Guillame Macaire (May 2017) and did okay initially when switched to Alan King; poor so far for Ben Haslam (0-4), with no positives whatsoever to take from her February run at Musselburgh (3m).
Last Year's Winner
Vado Forte (5/4), Dali Mail (11/4), The Gipper (7/1), Suggestion (7/1), Melody Of Scotland (9/1), Sleepy Haven (12/1), Minella Charmer (14/1), Only Orsenfoolsies (16/1), Katgary (20/1), Horst (25/1)
- The Gipper
- Vado Forte
- Dali Mail
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