14:40 Kempton Mon 11 November 2019
Continues on the upgrade, displaying ultra-consistent form figures; 6lb higher than when runner-up to Larkbarrow Lad at Worcester (2m4f, good to soft) 19 days ago; must scale new heights.
Returned from his summer break (and a second wind operation) with a relatively pleasing second to the reopposing Irish Prophecy at Wincanton (2m4f, good to firm); remains fairly weighted over hurdles in comparison to fences.
Won three times over the summer (twice for this trainer), including when in receipt of 10lbs from The Vollan (finished 1½L second) at Worcester (2m4f, good) in August; unseated this rider early on at Cheltenham 16 days ago.
6lb lower than when finishing sixth of 24 to Sire Du Berlais in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival (3m, good to soft) in March; weakened from three out on seasonal reappearance at Warwick (fifth of nine).
Sprung a 25-1 surprise when making a game winning debut for Chris Gordon (formerly with Alan King) at Fontwell (2m1½f, good) last month; ought to come on for that run - his first since December 2018; 7lb higher in a stronger race (Cl 2).
Front-runner who won twice as a novice at or around 2m (most latterly at Leicester in January); pulled up in a Grade 3 contest at Aintree (2m4f, soft) in April; has had wind surgery and may find this race overly competitive.
Boasts a 50% strike-rate over hurdles (3-6) and is seemingly improving at a rate of knots; the handicapper has taken aim with an 11lb rise since her Ludlow win (2m5½f, good) but that form has been franked by the third placed Misty Bloom.
Course winner (2m); bounced back to form following a few setbacks when beating the reopposing Capitaine by in excess of 2L at Wincanton (2m4f, good to firm) 33 days ago; a 6lb rise in the weights isn't necessarily prohibitive.
Won twice over hurdles in France, including on soft ground at Dieppe (2m1f); has since left Yannick Fouin to join Nick Littmoden; was tailed-off on debut for this yard in a novices' chase at Fakenham 12 days ago.
Lightly raced bumper (Newbury)/maiden hurdle (Ludlow) winner; looks perfectly well handicapped on that latest piece of form considering the subsequent efforts of Juge Et Parti (second) and Diomede Des Mottes (third); shortlisted off a 234-day break.
Three of his four career wins have come since the turn of the year (Huntingdon, Ludlow and Ascot), proving his versatility anywhere between 2m3½f and 2m7½f; needs to improve upon his return to competitive action at Stratford (sixth).
Last Year's Winner
|T: K C BaileyJ: M Hamill|
Morning Vicar (7/2), Theclockisticking (7/2), Organdi (9/2), Irish Prophecy (13/2), Capitaine (8/1), Harefield (9/1), The Vollan (14/1), Brecon Hill (16/1), Black Buble (25/1), Doubly Clever (33/1), Fleur Irlandaise (100/1)
- Morning Vicar
- Irish Prophecy
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