IN SUMMARY: MY BROTHER SYLVEST (7/1) has looked out of sorts on slow ground since the autumn but has slipped to a very attractive handicap mark and, with today’s underfoot conditions much more suitable, he might outclass this field from the front. Kerryhead Storm comes here in winning form but his current mark leaves him vulnerable and bigger threats to the selection may come from Rothman and Bilbrook Blaze, who both represent powerful stables and are lightly raced over fences.
1 Rothman – Drew clear to win small-field beginners’ chase at Fontwell (2m5f, soft) last summer, his third start over fences; not seen since then and not certain to be suited by today’s drop back in trip, but in good hands and open to further progress.
2 My Brother Sylvest – Out of form since returning from break in November, most recently when pulled up at Musselburgh last month; however, will be much better suited by the faster ground here and, from a very dangerous mark, can run today’s rivals ragged from the front if back on song.
3 Honey Pound – Three-time hurdle winner who made quite encouraging chase debut when second of four (albeit tired and well beaten in closing stages) at Fontwell (2m1f, soft) in November; unseated rider last time but still enters calculations.
4 Kerryhead Storm – 4-11 over fences after scoring in first-time cheekpieces at Leicester (2m, heavy) ten days ago; will be fine on the faster ground here and can give another good account, but 5lb rise demands new career-best performance.
5 Bilbrook Blaze – 0-5 over hurdles and has failed to complete both chases; needs to get his act together but has shown clear promise and remains lightly raced, so it would be reckless to write him off at this stage.
6 Nearest The Pin – Useful in his prime but struggled in hunter chases (both over about 3m2f) on first two stable starts last month; will probably be better suited by today’s trip and, in theory, has a better chance at the weights now back in a handicap, but it takes a leap of faith to support him.
myracing Forecast Prices: 5/2 Rothman, 7/2 My Brother Sylvest, 4/1 Kerryhead Storm, 9/2 Bilbrook Blaze, 5/1 Honey Pound, 16/1 Nearest The Pin