IN SUMMARY: Starting off over fences looking potentially smart, things haven’t been straightforward since for LOCAL SHOW. That said, he’s now down to a very attractive mark and he was set a very tough task on debut for this yard at the Cheltenham Festival back in March. He goes well fresh and it’s still early days for him over fences, so far better is expected under Daryl Jacob. Brandon Hill heads up the dangers as a bold front-runner, but he may just set this up for a horse with a bit more stamina in testing ground.
1 SIR IVAN – Held back by jumping issues in the early days over fences, those seem to be behind him now. Not disgraced in a Grade 2 event last time and this looks easier on paper. For all that more is needed from seven pounds higher than his last winning mark. Each way claims.
2 LOCAL SHOW – Initially smart over fences for Ben Pauling, including a win over course and distance. Things haven’t been straightforward of late though, leaving that yard and set a very tough task on debut for Sarah Humphrey. He returns off a very attractive mark though and it’s still early days for him over fences. He goes well fresh and better is expected here.
3 PILGRIMS BAY – Difficult customer was given one of the rides of the season in February when winning over course and distance. Fifth in the Ladbrokes Trophy last time, he was once more smuggled round without the horse realising he was in a race. Far better horse going this way round, strong each way shout.
4 TINTERN THEATRE – Both career wins have come at Ludlow so a sharp right handed track is favourable for him. Ran a huge race when fourth in a Cheltenham handicap last month, he is unexposed over the bigger obstacles so a big run would be no surprise under ideal conditions.
5 HOLLY BUSH HENRY – Right back to form over hurdles this season, clocking up three wins. Only a pound higher in this discipline than the mark he won from last time, but never really looked a natural over fences as a novice so can only be watched.
6 BRANDON HILL – Lightly raced, he has made a solid start to his chasing career. The ground has now gone into his favour as he loves it soft as he can try to burn them off from the front. He should make a bold bid from the front and couldn’t be ruled out with any confidence.
7 NO BUTS – Won over both two and a half and three and a half miles last season, so this inbetween trip will suit. Acts on any ground and has slipped to just a pound above that last winning mark. Has struggled badly in a pair of chase starts this season however, needs to step up considerably on those.
8 REMIND ME LATER – Plugged on at one pace last time over this trip at Ascot on similar ground to this. His best form has all come on a sounder surface so has a little to prove under these conditions.