16:30 Sandown Fri 14 February 2020
- Woolwich Novices' Handicap Hurdle (Class 4)
- 2m 3f 173y,
- 10 Runners
- Surface: Turf
Won two bumpers but hasn't progressed as expected over hurdles, and was well beaten despite finishing second at Exeter last time; going into handicaps today may help, as may addition of a tongue-tie, but overall a little to prove now.
Winner on handicap debut at Haydock in December and ran at least as well in defeat at Ascot last time (heavy ground); this trip on this ground likely no issue, and with the prospect of more to come, looks one of the main contenders here.
One start in a bumper and two in hurdles and looks nicely handicapped here if you take his length second to Black Pirate at Wetherby last time at face value; this will be the most testing ground he's faced, but should improve for step up in trip.
Stayed on in most game fashion to get up right on the line at Hereford in a novice hurdle last time out, although form of that win open to question; given a fair shake by the handicapper though, and handles this ground, so has to have chances.
Consistent in so much as he's been placed last four starts but the flip side of that is that he's not improving either; possibly didn't see out the hill here last time when third in a good race, and others might be stronger in a finish.
Down the field in four starts in novice hurdles but hosed in on handicap debut at Exeter last month, winning an easy 9½l; handicapper hit him with a 12lb rise but no saying how much more he's got left; that win came on heavy too, so ground no issue.
Would look nicely treated on his second to the improving Go Whatever at Plumpton back in November but ought to have done a little better on handicap debut at Doncaster last time. Return to slower ground could help him, though, so has chances.
Has returned to form last two starts, and almost got his head in front at Warwick on his latest start, a run that nudges him up 3lb; likely to appreciate the step back up in trip though, and handles the ground, so another to consider in an open race
Showed promise all three starts in novice/maiden company before being thrown in at the deep end in a handicap chase last time, well beaten; reverts to hurdles with potential for better, but does need to prove himself on this ground.
Has come up against some good sorts in his novices this winter and in truth had little chance; gets a fair handicap mark to start from and this step up in trip should suit, so has a squeak, particularly if the market speak sin his favour.
Last Year's Winner
|T: C L TizzardJ: H Cobden|
Steal A March (3/1), Ashfield Paddy (4/1), Endless Flight (6/1), Brummie Boys (6/1), Lossiemouth (6/1), The Raven's Return (8/1), Iconic Muddle (12/1), Storm Force Ben (16/1), Fort Denison (20/1), I'm A Starman (25/1)
- Ashfield Paddy
- Endless Flight
- Steal A March