15:25 Wetherby Sat 11 January 2020
Fitness to prove after 325-day absence. Looks to have an extremely difficult task on paper considering his only recent piece of form under rules was a 55-length second to Wonderful Charm in a hunters chase at Doncaster (3m2f; good).
Finished third over C&D on both his starts so far this season, and he came off worse in a three-way photo-finish most recently behind the subsequent Borders National Winner Bigirononhiship. Doesn't win very often but is reliable around this track.
On a long losing run, and finished last of those who completed when fifth at Huntingdon (2m7f; good) on his seasonal reappearance despite being sent off 9-4f. Still has place claims if he has improved enough from that effort.
Makes stables/seasonal debut and the change of scenery will need to rejuvenate him given his record over fences stands at 0-4. Plenty of faith is required with him after he was last seen finishing tailed off at Exeter (3m; good to soft) in February.
Beginning to look well-handicapped as he is now 3lb below the mark he scored off when winning at Uttoxeter (3m; good) in May 2018. He has won on soft ground, but profile suggests he prefers it quicker. Claims if market support arrives for him.
Opened his account over fences at the second attempt earlier in the season when drawing 17-length clear of the field with his closest rival. Majorly disappointing when fifth at Chepstow (2m7f; soft) in November though so has something to prove.
Failed to build upon his first taste of success over fences on his penultimate start when a well-beaten sixth at Chepstow (2m3f; soft) last month. Surely capable of better than he showed then, but does need to bounce back.
Made low-key seasonal reappearance over C&D back in November at a time when stable were not quite firing on all cylinders. Not seen since then (70 days). Could be a different proposition now, and he looks attractively well-handicapped.
Not one to currently be interested in, given he has been struggling for form for a year now. Drops slightly in grade as he steps up to 3m for the first time. 2lb below last winning mark, but doesn't look ready to take advantage of that.
Was in the process of running poorly when tailed off and subsequently pulled-up at Catterick (3m1f; soft) last month. Remains 16lb above his last winning mark. Difficult to tell if he will return to the form he signed off his 2018/19 campaign in.
Last Year's Winner
Eclair De Guye (7/2), Above Board (9/2), Absolutely Dylan (5/1), De Forgotten One (5/1), Silver Tassie (7/1), Ice Cool Champs (9/1), Valadom (14/1), Boa Island (16/1), Virnon (22/1), Purple Harry (40/1)
- Silver Tassie
- Absolutely Dylan
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