He ran okay over hurdles at Warwick last time but he is a much better chaser – he is 9lb higher over fences – and ran a couple of decent races at the end of last year, particularly his fourth at Cheltenham over 3m3f in November. He is already 3lb lower here and if coming back to that form he must have an each-way chance. He has won on heavy so if the ground rides very testing that won’t be a problem.
This looks a very good mares bumper – there are a couple of Irish horses in here, notably Willie Mullins’ Redhotfillypeppers, and he won this race two years ago – but we do think a fair bit of Cap Soleil. She did it well over 1m4f on her debut and then stepped up another level when winning at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day when knuckling down well to beat Daphne Du Clos. The runner-up won well at Newbury next time and was second favourite for the Cheltenham bumper before injury ruled her out of the Festival, so the form looks strong, and we do rate our filly. I’m keen on her chances. She picks up a 4lb penalty for that Class win at Cheltenham though, and that doesn’t help obviously. But this is a very good race, as I said, and I certainly wouldn’t rule out Fergal’s other horse, Oscar Rose. She carries a 4lb penalty for her Huntingdon win as well, but she also showed a good attitude there and the front two pulled well clear of the third who has won over hurdles since. She is improving with her racing.
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