IN SUMMARY: REDICEAN can land the spoils for the Alan King stable who have won this race three times in the past ten years so clearly farms the race. Salix is another intriguing candidate and can chase the selection home.
1 FIRST QUEST – A fair horse on the flat who reached a rating of 71 in that sphere before switching to hurdles where he was tailed off in sixth on debut. That was a good race at Sandown but this won’t be much easier and he will need to have improved a bundle.
2 HAULANI – Another horse from the flat who was rated in the mid 70s and was third on debut over timber at Catterick last time. He was comprehensively beaten that day however and although the experience will have helped and he should improve he needs to.
3 KING CNUT – Didn’t show much in two bumper runs before switching to hurdles and being beaten out of sight at Fontwell last time. This looks a much tougher assignment and it would be a shock if he got involved, his stable isn’t exactly firing either.
4 KINGS INN – Started out his career as a flat horse in Ireland where he made just one appearance when second in a maiden at Killarney. He has since moved to Paul Nicholls and rates an interesting contender on hurdling debut, his trainer has won this 3 times since 2011.
5 RAY’S THE MONEY – A decent handicapper on the flat who reached a rating in the low 80s earlier this year. He was well beaten on his last start in that sphere but had run well the time before and is a contender on his hurdling bow for Charlie Mann.
6 REDICEAN – A very decent flat horse who was put up six pounds to 86 when winning his final start for David O’Meara before moving to Alan King. His yard have won this race three times in the last ten years so any runner has to be respected and he has a decent chance.
7 SALIX – Won a mile and a half maiden on the flat at Pornichet La-Baule in France. It is hard to know what to make of that form but he has been purchased by very powerful connections and is now trained by the excellent Ben Pauling, no surprise if he is a smart one.
8 TOWIE – Ran three times on the flat for Hughie Morrison and showed some decent enough form before moving to Gary Moore to make his hurdling debut here. He isn’t a proven performer like some of the other flat horses but may well be better over hurdles, market worth checking.