He showed a really good attitude to win on his hurdling debut for me at Southwell, and the second has run well in defeat since, but he found things tough under a 7lb penalty at Market Rasen time. But he didn’t run badly in fourth and hopefully a mark of 128 on his handicap debut allows him to be competitive. I wouldn’t say it was generous, but hopefully he is a horse who will progress as he gets runs his belt. And I think the step down in trip on this ground could be a positive move, too.
I don’t know much about him to be honest, as I only picked the ride up late on Friday morning. He was a fair handicap hurdler a couple of years ago, well suited by this trip and soft ground, and he was entitled to need the run when returning after a lengthy absence at Huntingdon last month. The handicapper has dropped him 3lb for it, so hopefully a better run is expected here.
He did it nicely for me at Aintree on his return but then he ran no kind of race at Newbury. Perhaps the ground wasn’t deep enough for him there, among other things, but he had a wind operation afterwards and he ran much more like his old self when second at Musselburgh last time. The handicapper has raised him 2lb for it but hopefully he can still make his presence felt with conditions to suit. Two miles in soft ground is what he wants.
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