We didn’t see the best of him at Plumpton last time, where the ground was too tacky for him, but it wasn’t a bad effort at all. He is capable of better though, and we know what a good hurdler he was from his win in the Sidney Banks here last year. He wouldn’t want the ground to ride too soft here though, and this is a good little novice.
He was obviously disappointing at Chepstow on his return but he ran a blinder when third to two well-handicapped horses at Cheltenham last time, where we rode him more prominently and it suited. So, although he has gone up 2lb for being beaten the best part of 8 lengths, that was probably to be expected. Hopefully, there is more to come from him too, and he has a decent chance, if so.
Josses Hill was very impressive when winning this race last year and Top Notch also looked very good when winning at Ascot last time, but they both carry 6lb penalties and God’s Own is the form choice, as it stands. I was happy enough with him on his return in the Old Roan and would expect him to come on a fair bit for it. If he returns to the level of his Grade 1-placed efforts in the Tingle Creek and Champion Chase at Punchestown last season, then he is probably the one to beat, and he stays this longer trip, too. He is a three-time Grade 1 winner, and top-class on his day, and the track should suit. But he wouldn’t want to see any rain; the softer it is, the harder it is for him.
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