13:15 Newbury Sat 30 November 2019
Soft ground lover who remains 8lb higher than his last win, but has been keeping Grade 2 company and making the frame at that level. Interesting that connections now enter him in his first handicap, and he looks a very solid option from this mark.
Grade 2 winner as a novice chaser last season, but so far his record in handicaps does not offer encouragement that he will be winning from this mark.
Dual winner over fences at around 2m, and placed in several Grade 2 races last season. Acts on soft, should get this trip, and claims from this mark of able to produce his best.
Improved as a novice last year and ran well here over slightly further when a close second in March, before winning at Sandown (2m4f, good) in April. Never involved on his reappearance, so has a bit to prove, but an each-way player from this mark.
Won a Grade 3 here over 2m4f (soft) in 2016, but has raced only six times since, and not at all since February last year. Handicapper has given him a chance on this reappearance, his record when fresh is good, and no surprise if he goes well.
Dual good ground chase winner at around 2m when with David Bridgwater. Changed hands since last seen in a Taunton selling hurdle recently and hard to fancy in this field on that evidence.
Useful over fences two seasons ago, but failed to rekindle that old flame in three runs in the back half of last season. Has had wind surgery and still has time on his side. Couldn't write him off from this mark if he can recapture old form.
Former Venetia Williams inmate who scored over fences on his first two runs for this trainer. Acts on testing ground, and although he was a beaten favourite on his return, it would be churlish to write him off after that. Remains of interest.
Mudlark who is 0-2 over fences, but performed with credit in both of those. Remains open to improvement from this mark, and enters calculations.
Without a win since his hurdles debut way back in 2013. Has looked useful over fences, but is 0-4 and this is a tough race in which to try to break your duck.
Has improved from winning his first chase from a mark of just 98 to today's official rating of 129. May still be more to come, despite being beaten from 2lb lower at Market Rasen last time, but all wins on good, so plenty to prove on soft ground.
1-8 over fences, though that win came when 1lb higher last season. Has to be respected on that basis, while he also stays 3m and acts on testing ground. Interesting for each-way players.
Won easily two starts back at Ffos Las (2m5f, soft), when 10lb lower, but failed to deliver from this mark at Aintree last time. Not written off after that, but bit to prove now. Hood goes on.
Scored here over 2m4f (soft) in March 2018, but raced only twice since, and not seen for 11-months. Returns after wind surgery and a 3lb drop. Good record when fresh, so check market for any confidence.
Scored twice over fences last season (both 3m), but well held from just 1lb higher when last seen in April, and genuine soft ground doesn't look ideal.
Completed a hat-trick in the space of a month earlier this year (all 2m5f, on good to soft/good). Possible he could be competitive from this mark, but in this strong line-up and on soft ground, it will go down as a surprise if he wins.
Last Year's Winner
|T: P F NichollsJ: Bryony Frost|
Westend Story (9/2), Molineaux (6/1), Sametegal (7/1), Jerrysback (8/1), As You Like (9/1), Larry (9/1), Bennys King (10/1), Highway One O One (10/1), Rocky's Treasure (10/1), Divine Spear (12/1), Drumcliff (14/1), Wilde Blue Yonder (20/1), Joueur Bresilien (20/1), Tiquer (33/1), Cap Du Nord (50/1), Minella For Me (50/1), Utility (66/1)
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