14:25 Newbury Sat 30 November 2019
- Ladbrokes 'Where The Nation Plays' Intermediate Hurdle (Listed Limited Handicap) (Class 1)
- 2m 69y, Good to Soft (Soft in places)
- 11 Runners
- Surface: Turf
Returned from a competitive Flat campaign with a career best over hurdles when winning a Market Rasen Listed event (2m½f, good) in September. Has the ability to get closely involved here, but soft ground is a concern.
C&D winner on good to soft in March, and third in Aintree juvenile Grade 1 in April. Held on final start at Haydock. Had wind surgery prior to respectable reappearance at Wincanton, and a player from this mark if better for that.
Held behind Fusil Raffles in same race as Christopher Wood at Wincanton last time, and probably had less excuses having gone into that after a career best the time before. Soft ground a concern here too.
Has won half his six hurdles, proving himself capable on soft with a career-best at Ayr (2m) on his reappearance earlier this month. Up 6lb for that comfortable success and needs taking seriously.
2-3 over hurdles. Beaten favourite when last seen at Cheltenham Festival in the Grade 2 mares' novices' hurdle. Drops 6lb and has a stiff task from this mark on literal interpretation of her form, but no surprise to see improvement.
Showed significant improvement to score by 8L on his handicap debut in a Class 3 here over C&D last time. Can't argue with 9lb rise for that, and he deserves this step up in class. Considered.
Scored over C&D in March, completing a hat-trick in the process. Unable to build on that very useful form in three runs since. Now just 1lb higher, but clearly has a bit to prove.
Dual good ground novice hurdle winner earlier in the year. Not far behind the talented Reserve Tank at Sandown in February (in receipt of 4lb). Makes handicap debut open to improvement and entitled to make the shortlist.
Stepped up on previous form when drawing clear for a 10L success at Wetherby (2m, good to soft) last month. Looks capable of better, and will need to be from a 9lb higher mark in a tougher race. Not ruled out.
Recorded a hat-trick on the Flat from August to October, all on soft or heavy, but well held back over hurdles last time and others make more appeal.
Won a Doncaster maiden hurdle in January, but held in a weaker race than this on her reappearance, and hard to see her being good enough.
Last Year's Winner
|T: B PaulingJ: David Bass|
Epatante (3/1), Elusive Belle (11/2), Crooks Peak (6/1), Elvis Mail (6/1), French Crusader (8/1), Scarlet Dragon (9/1), Christopher Wood (10/1), Antunes (10/1), Fanfan Du Seuil (12/1), Storm Goddess (14/1), Torcello (25/1), Beat The Judge (33/1)
- Elusive Belle
- Elvis Mail
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