Even though he went off a massive price we weren’t that surprised that he ran such a good race when second to On The Blind Side at Aintree in October, though obviously the winner has left that form far behind since. If he returned to that level, then he would be the one to beat in here – this race has really cut up at the overnight stage – and I think he may have bumped into another fair sort when beaten at Southwell next time. He hasn’t raced since November but he has been in good form at home – he has had a wind operation – and decent ground is what he wants. So hopefully the course doesn’t get a lot of rain leading up to the race.
He was a decent hurdler but I would like to think that he is going to be a fair bit better as a chaser, and he has done absolutely nothing wrong in three starts over fences to date. His only chasing loss was at the hands of Benatar at Plumpton but we saw how good the winner was when he followed up at Ascot and the ground wasn’t ideal for my horse that day. He returned to winning form in style for Gavin at Doncaster last time and, although he has picked up a 10lb penalty for that Grade 2 win and is stepping down from 3m here, I think he has the class to cope. He has plenty of form on soft, but hopefully they don’t get much more rain. He has a tough task giving the weight, and this trip could on the sharp side for him I guess, but he is not a horse to be underestimated.
He is one of mine who would probably welcome a bit of rain. He has to bounce back from an uncharacteristically poor run at Newbury last time, when he found disappointingly little for me up the straight, but hopefully that effort is best forgotten. The handicapper has ignored it as he still races off a 3lb higher mark than when winning at Aintree in November, but I would like to think that he can still be competitive here. He goes well when fresh so the break since that Newbury run is probably a positive, and he is another of ours to have had a recent wind op.
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