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He showed plenty of ability when second in his only point, and the same goes for his placed efforts in bumpers at Doncaster and Bangor. That Bangor race looked a pretty hot heat, and this longer trip on softer ground should suit him on his hurdling debut. And it looks like he has had a wind op since he last ran, so hopefully that is another positive.
He is back down to a winnable mark again, that’s for sure – 2lb lower than when winning for me over 2m at Cheltenham last season – and there has been plenty of promise in his two starts this season. He was running a great race when a mistake 2 out cost him any chance on his reappearance, and he shaped better than it looked when third at Newbury last time. He has plenty of form over this longer trip, and hopefully the ground won’t be too bad.
He wasn’t at his best on heavy over course and distance last time, his first run after falling at Cheltenham. But he ran well on his first two starts of the season, and has come down 5lb since. He is a pretty good horse on his day, as he showed when winning a good Cheltenham handicap two years ago – and finishing second to a well-handicapped Thomas Campbell in the same race the following year – and trip and ground are fine for him. He has definite chances off this mark if back to his best.
She improved in the spring last season and continued that progression when winning at Lingfield recently. That was a pleasant surprise as she was stepping down to 2m4f there – albeit on heavy ground in a small field – and I’d like to think she is still fairly weighted under her 4lb penalty. That penalty enabled her to get into this race, so it was a great bit of training and placing there. This is obviously a lot tougher and she is a 10yo now, but she will love the ground and she stays very well, as we saw at Ffos Las.
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