He has put up a couple of good efforts at this track, and ran an encouraging first race of the season when second to a progressive horse , and one who was completing his hat-trick, at Bangor earlier this month. He runs off the same mark here and, if seeing out this extra 2f or so, he should run a very good race. The ground certainly won’t be an issue for him.
This is obviously a Grade 1 – and a good one, too – and he needs to step up a good deal on what he has achieved so far, but the potential is certainly there and this will tell us a lot more about him. He won his point on heavy and has obviously done nothing wrong in winning his two hurdles starts, in lesser company, to date. And if you can win in the soft at Ffos Las, as he did last month, you would be hopeful of him handling heavy ground around here. This will be the first time I have sat on him, and again he clearly has a lot to prove against some very smart rivals with strong formlines, but I don’t think he will be disgraced.
Some of his best hurdling efforts came in soft ground and, aside a mistake at the first, he did it really well on his chasing debut at Ludlow, where he warmed to his task throughout the race. We always thought a fence would improve him. Unfortunately, he only got as far as the opening fence at Doncaster a fortnight ago, but his work and schooling has been fine since, and I think he looks fairly handicapped, too. I think the track will suit him, and the trip and ground are fine.
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