To be perfectly honest, I was a tiny bit disappointed at the time that we couldn’t beat Elixir De Nutz in receipt of 10lb over 2m1f here in December, but the winner put that performance into context when going on to win the Tolworth and Jarveys Plate was superb when stepped up in trip over course and distance last time. He easily saw off a well-touted horse of Nicky Henderson’s that day, and relished the greater test of stamina. He has to give 5lb to some good horses here, so this won’t be easy, but you have to be hopeful after what he did here last time. I schooled him on Friday morning and he is very straightforward, just a very easy horse to be around.
Aye Aye Charlie
He was obviously a very good novice and his Aintree second on his return was a lot better than it looked at the time – the winner has gone on to prove himself with a second in Grade 2 company – but he was a touch disappointing over 3m here last time after doing what he was entitled to at Kelso. We have tried him in cheekpieces on his last two starts, but we leave them off and put on a first-time tongue-tie. He clearly faces a very difficult task at the weights, but hopefully he will show us more here.
He is 1lb out of the handicap, but he is a horse that I am sure has a good race in him off his current mark. He shaped well for me on his Chepstow return before falling at Ascot, and he again ran with promise when fourth at Market Rasen on Boxing Day. I think there is more to come from him, and a more truly-run race here will suit.
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