Although his Grade 2 win at Cheltenham back in November came on good ground, Thursday’s rain should have been fine for him. He has plenty of form on soft, including when fifth in the Grade 1 here last year. He comes here on the back of an excellent fifth in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham last time, and this winning pointer is well worth his first try over 3m over hurdles. I am expecting a bold showing.
The Worlds End
He could definitely have done without the drenching everyone, and the course, got here on Thursday, as he is best on decent ground. But this track does tend to dry out pretty quickly, so let’s hope it does. And he did run okay on soft ground when seventh in the Stayers’ Hurdle last season. He switches back to hurdles after pulling up in the RSA last month and his best form in this sphere, which includes winning a Grade 1 here two years ago, would give him each-way claims in a competitive race. But the ground would have to worry you a bit.
I was gutted to see the rain on Thursday as I was beginning to really fancy my chances on Singlefarmpayment. But, as I have said, a dry 48 hours can make a big difference to this course, so fingers crossed we don’t get any more wet weather. He ran below par on soft ground in the Ultima last time but he had earlier run a blinder off this mark when just touched off by Cogry at Cheltenham. Connections have long thought he could be a Grand National type, and I can really see him taking to the challenge. I know he has lost out in a few tight challenges in the past, and has fallen twice in his career, but he is normally a very assured jumper and I really do think he will outrun his massive odds. If the ground dries out appreciably, then he looks a huge price to me at 66/1. Of the opposition, you have to greatly respect Tiger Roll but I would fear Lake View Lad most. He shaped really well when third in the Ultima, his first start since December, and soft ground will be no inconvenience to him. He has never fallen over fences and looks to have a very good profile coming into the race, for all he has never raced beyond 3m2f before.
MY IDEA OF THE FIRST SEVEN HOME: 1 Singlefarmpayment, 2 Lake View Lad, 3 Walk In The Mill, 4 Tiger Roll, 5 Vieux Lion Rouge, 6 Captain Redbeard, 7 Rock The Kasbah