Aye Aye Charlie
Being honest, he probably hasn’t progressed as much as we would have hoped this season, as he must have been one of the highest-rated maidens in training at the start of the campaign following his excellent Grade 1 fourth to Black Op at Aintree. That said, his reappearance second to Stoney Mountain proved to be a lot better than it looked at the time and he won his race at Kelso, and he showed us a fair bit more in the Cleeve Hurdle last time. In fact, I was very happy with the way he shaped here last time in a hot race and the return to novice company is clearly a step back in class for him. He also has plenty of experience, which is what you want in this race, and he will handle the ground. He is not out of this, I can assure you. And hopefully the wind op he has had since the Cleeve Hurdle proves to be another plus.
He missed the cut by one in this race last season, so let’s hope he can gain compensation here. I certainly think he has a great each-way chance at the very least. He has an excellent record over course and distance, and he absolutely bolted up here on his reappearance. Yes, he went up 10lb for that but that looks justified given the way the form has worked out, and he has been given a break since a good second to Ozzie The Oscar in December. He goes well when fresh and looked in good order when he had a gentle spin round Exeter with God’s Own recently. You could argue that he would prefer better ground, but he has plenty of form on soft, and I think I am set for a very good spin round.
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