15:15 Stratford Mon 10 June 2019
Four-time winner earlier in the year always finding plenty under pressure to capture his races; last win off 2lb lower at Cheltenham a career best. Slightly disappointing last time at Ffos Las; possibility that the handicapper may now be in control.
Not the most straightforward over fences with his two runs over the larger obstacles after a wind op not really impressing. Ran a little better returned to hurdling at Worcester last time (in a visor); still worth handling with care.
Operating below his best at the moment and now back over hurdles after two below-par chasing starts. Not won over hurdles since April 2015 with this trip looking to test his suspect stamina; needs to show more spark before he's of interest.
Narrowly beaten over C&D last time by His Dream (run down close home) he went through the race with a better attitude in today's headgear than his previous accoutrements. 4lb higher now this trip is at the outer limits of his stamina.
Bounced back to form last time (first-time blinkers) when proving too strong for Flying Verse over C&D); weights bring them close together again. Looked on a going day (can race lazily); not sure to be in the same mood/form this time around.
Relished the trip (3m2f) and the first-time headgear (cheekpieces/tongue-tie) when scoring at Fontwell (an improved performance). Raised 6lb for that win he ran to a similar level over the same C&D last time; won't be far away.
Well backed when taking a Kempton (2m5f) handicap hurdle in January before disappointing with two below-par efforts off the back of that win. Bounced back to form returned to Kempton (same trip) in a change of headgear; handicapper has his measure.
His fencing ambitions appear to have been shelved for now; appears happier back over hurdles although his last two runs in this sphere have not totally convinced. New headgear combination now tried in a bid to aid him over this longer trip.
Hard one to trust totally; certainly has two ways of running and looked very laboured when attempting to follow up his Southwell win last time. Had the benefit of a career-low mark for his last win; others are more solid citizens.
Last Year's Winner
Flying Verse (7/2), His Dream (7/2), Uno Mas (4/1), Aengus (11/2), Calin Du Brizais (6/1), Reckless Behavior (7/1), Buster Edwards (8/1), King Cool (12/1), Groundunderrepair (16/1), Sporting Boy (25/1)
- Flying Verse
- Buster Edwards
- His Dream
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