14:05 Kempton Mon 11 November 2019
Kept on to chase home Ballyvic Boru on seasonal reappearance at Wetherby (1m7f, good to soft); should relish this extra three furlongs and is expected to play a major role despite a subsequent 2lb rise in the weights.
Competes from a similar mark as to when making all for a smooth win at Wetherby (1m7f, good) in January; ended last season with a ninth placed finish in the Grade 3 Topham Chase at Aintree (2m5f, soft).
A model of consistency last season (12232110), earning a 7lb rise for back-to-back spring wins at Wetherby (1m7f) and Doncaster (2m½f); 5lb claimer Maxime Tissier is helpfully deployed into action on return from a 221-day absence.
3lb higher than when beating Copper West by just over 1L at Wetherby (2m3½f, good) last November; ended last season below par over 2m4f; first competitive start for 231 days.
Gowran Park maiden hurdle winner (2m4f, good) for Joseph O'Brien; headed at the final fence when outspeeded by Oleg on seasonal reappearance at Wincanton (1m7½f, good to firm); merits ample respect from a 1lb higher mark.
Isn't entirely straightforward, but it's impossible to knock his recent progress over fences; seeks a four-timer following wins at Fontwell (2m2f-2m3½f) and Taunton (2m); is rising sharply in the weights, and mightn't want too much more rain.
Still yet to win for Paul Nicholls (0-6), although has hit the crossbar on numerous occasions over hurdles; blundered at the 12th fence when put firmly in his place by Burbank on chasing debut here (2m4f Beginners') in May.
Made all, and jumped well throughout when winning over fences for Joseph O'Brien at Killarney (2m5f, good) in July; did a fraction too much early when a weakening third to Rebel Rebel on debut for Chris Gordon at Huntingdon (2m4f).
Won three on the bounce between May and July (at 2m over hurdles and fences); in contention when hitting the deck four out at Exeter (2m3½f, good) last month; needs more from this elevated mark, but shouldn't be totally dismissed.
5-22 over fences (includes a walkover at Plumpton in April); was struggling from halfway on seasonal reappearance at Fontwell (2m2f, good) and fared little better behind Adrrastos over C&D (good) three weeks ago.
6lb higher than when winning at Taunton (2m, good to soft) during the festive period of 2018 - beat Broughtons Rhythm by 2¾L; disappointing so far this season, including when persistently jumping badly right at Fontwell latest.
Off the track since running on the AW at Southwell in May, and hasn't won over fences since scoring at Sedgefield (2m+, soft) in January 2018 - beat today's rival Beau Bay; others are far more persuasive.
Has plummeted down the weights since springing a 28-1 surprise in a Class 2 handicap at Cheltenham (2m, good) in November 2016, but is getting long in the tooth nowadays and realistically can't be fancied off a 118-day absence.
Last Year's Winner
Ecu De La Noverie (5/2), Sao (11/2), Vinnie The Hoddie (6/1), Pointed And Sharp (15/2), Commandant (9/1), Teaser (10/1), Nightfly (12/1), Movie Legend (14/1), Railroad Junkie (20/1), Un Beau Roman (20/1), Darebin (25/1), Beau Bay (33/1), Prairie Town (50/1)
- Ecu De La Noverie
- Vinnie The Hoddie
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