13:50 Newbury Fri 29 November 2019
Looked to have struggling after Doncaster win (3m) last December but bounced back in fine style to take strong handicap chase (2m4f) at the Punchestown Festival in April. Goes well fresh but has top weight to contend with.
Looked like he would take top rank over fences last season and belatedly obliged when winning Grade 1 at Aintree in April (2m4f). Made perfectly respectable reappearance when second in the Old Roan Chase last month. Class prospect in the race.
Grade 1 winner in his prime and landed C&D Grade 3 handicap last March. Not as good in three subsequent starts, including at Market Rasen (2m5f) when beaten 19L last month so needs a bounce back.
Rattled up a hat-trick of wins at the end of last season/start of this season but rapid progression seemingly stalled when 24L last of four at Market Rasen (3m) earlier this month. This looks tough off current mark.
Had the measure of Kalashnikov when slamming him in the Kingmaker Chase at Sandown in February but subsequently fell in the Arkle before pulling up behind that rival at Aintree (2m4f) last time. Fair chance if back to best form.
Impressive with two wins at Ascot last winer but form went backwards towards the end, including when puling up in Grade 2 Limited Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in April. Nicely placed for seasonal reappearance.
Last win came at Chepstow in October 2018 and form has lost its way since, including when pulling up in BetVictor Gold Cup (2m4f) at Cheltenham last time out. May need to slip down the weights to be competitive again.
Consistent and progressive sort who typically runs well over C&D, finishing second to San Benedeto in March before landing C&D handicap chase laster that month. 4lb rise seems fair and may improve this season.
Won twice in a stop-start first season over fences but made a perfect start to this season when winning C&D handicap chase earlier this month. 4lb seems harsh given he just held on but entitled to respect.
Best form came when fourth in the Festival Plate last season (2m4f) but not in the same form since. Can't be judged when unseating early on in the BetVictor Gold Cup last time but will need a bounce back.
Typically runs to his mark without winning and returned from six month layoff with good third in 2m4f chase at Aintree earlier this month. Will need to improve on that effort but has each-way claims.
Sole win over fences came at Hereford in January but not as good since then and started the season with 11L defeat in Listed handicap chase at Wetherby at the start of the month (2m5f). Vulnerable to classier rivals in this.
Last Year's Winner
|T: Miss V WilliamsJ: Charlie Deutsch|
Kalashnikov (13/8), Oldgrangewood (6/1), Azzerti (7/1), Gala Ball (9/1), Glen Forsa (10/1), San Benedeto (14/1), Spiritofthegames (14/1), O O Seven (16/1), Go Long (16/1), Eamon An Cnoic (16/1), Wenyerreadyfreddie (25/1), The Bay Birch (33/1)
- Glen Forsa
- Gala Ball
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