Haydock Race Preview, 21/11/2020

Saturday November 21st

Light rain forecast Saturday morning

Haydock 1:50
Betfair Racing Only Bettor Handicap Hurdle Class 2
2m2f191y – Going: Soft (Good to Soft in places) – 15 runners

Forest Bihan
Not raced since winning Old Roan at Aintree in October 2019, tracked leaders final circuit, looked poised home turn, travelled best passing omitted 2 out, produced to challenge passing omitted last, quickened right away. Connections said it themselves at the time – when the fences were taken out due to low sun, it strengthened his chance. Having not won a race when there’s been more than eight runners (and never won a hurdle race at all), readily opposed
Kid Commando
Best to date when making all at Ascot on reappearance, went on,  not so far ahead 4th, moved comfortably approaching home turn, niggled along approaching 2 out, was a length and a bit up with hard ridden and stayed on between last 2, in close to last, ridden out, ran on last 200 yards to pull further clear, unchallenged from Malaya – never saw a rival and poured it on after the last; another time he might be a sitting duck, but at least we know he’s genuine. His dam was fully effective at this trip and beyond, so chances as he goes up in distance
Flash The Steel
Having won the 2019 Silver Trophy at Chepstow, at this meeting last year ran in the staying handicap hurdle and was tailed off behind Stoney Mountain,  in touch when pushed along home turn, kept on till weakened from 3 out, put under pressure, weakened further approaching 2 out, left alone between last 2. Good reappearance in the latest running of the Chepstow race, midfield 3 out, not hard ridden and made good ground into 4th when went left 2 out, pushed along, ran on and closed on 1st 2 approaching omitted last, put under pressure and soon took 2nd, hard driven and got to Tea Clipper’s quarters, no extra last 150 yards. Running here rather than the three-miler, every chance
Dear Sire
Busy over Summer and second win since resumption at Chepstow in October over 2m, headway on the bit approaching 3 out, tracked leaders and niggled along carrying head high approaching 2 out, pushed along after it, driven, switched approaching last and still handing, the better jump and led last, ridden out and went left under a hand ride, drew clear of Friend Or Foe; in a stronger race found wanting behind Kid Commando at Ascot last time,  significantly closer order travelling largely comfortably approaching home turn, pushed along turning in, took 4th when put under pressure and taken to stands’ side approaching 2 out, jumped right, weakened between last 2. Was tailed off on only visit to this track, hasn’t won in fields bigger than 11 and little expected
At this meeting last year was in the staying handicap hurdle and did well, closer order 7th, closed up looking comfortable from home turn and tracked leaders approaching 3 out, shaken up approaching 2 out and switched from inside (far side) rail some four or five horsewidths to challenge middle, driven and could only keep on approaching last, weakened inside final 100 yards and 5th to Stoney Mountain – perhaps should have had his effort delayed a little more, where he was at the third last a fair reflection of his merit on the day; also not strong at the finish when 11th to Indefatigable in Martin Pipe Conditionals’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival when last seen out. Dropped in trip, off a favourable handicap mark and with Fergus Gillard taking off 7 lbs, has a bit going for him
Irish Roe
In this race last year ran 5th to Bold Plan: last won in May 2019 over 2m4f at Aintree; a couple of good efforts without winning last season including when chasing home Lady Buttons in Listed Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle at Doncaster last January, held up, travelled comfortably approaching home turn, some 4 or 5 lengths to find 2 out, pushed along, effort and stayed on well approaching last, only a length down jumping, hard ridden and soon every chance, completely squeezed out between rivals 175 yards out (literally squashed in the middle), rallied and took 2nd close home, no impression on winner. The incident didn’t cost her a place, but did cost her a couple of lengths. Was 4th to Hatcher in a jumpers’ bumper at Wolverhampton in February when last seen. Having run well to be placed a couple of times on soft ground, gets the benefit of the doubt re: the going: not always strong at the finish though and unlikely to better last year’s finish
Fix Sun
Gave the impression that he had plenty of speed when winning over 2m3f at Market Rasen last January; had to dig deep after a serious blunder 3 out at Fakenham next time and found wanting, the writing on the wall turning for home and headed by Fraternel after the last. Was fancied at 17/2 but didn’t run well in competitive handicap hurdle won by Captain Tom Cat at Cheltenham in October on reappearance, edged closer when ridden into 7th, made good ground, raced wide at the top of the hill, prominent and going comfortably approaching 3 out, tracked leaders approaching 2 out, in close to it, ridden along, faded under pressure coming off home turn, beginning to look held when dived at last, weakened up the hill, slowed alarmingly 150 yards out – looked like going close between the third and second last only to weaken dramatically. Not sure what to expect now, but a test of speed is what not to expect given the anticipated soft ground and for me he’s best watched
Lines up on a long-range hattrick, winning at Wincanton in January and Wetherby last month, prominent 5th, mistake 7th, moved comfortably turning out of back straight, came wide home turn, headway going best to chase leader approaching 3 out, niggled along, effort and led 2 out, hard ridden, stayed on but didn’t put it to bed, half a length up and the better jump last, ridden out, found extra run-in, drew clear of War Lord to win by just shy of 3 lengths. Progressing and chances again
Our Power
Winner of the Silver Plate (Cheltenham Festival consolation) at Kempton in March, shuffled back to 6th 2 to 3 lengths down when pushed along home turn, stayed on and closed on leaders under a hand ride approaching 2 out, chased leader on landing, sustained effort to lead and put under pressure approaching last, led a length jumping, driven out, stayed on well to beat The Butcher Said. Didn’t run badly on reappearance when 6th to Captain Tom Cat at Cheltenham last month but found less than looked likely, mistakes 1st and 6th, widest of all and made ground to be prominent 3 out, moved more comfortably than most approaching home turn, chased leader straightening, pushed along and carried head to one side approaching last, hung left, hard driven (left-hand drive), straightened but faded, lost places last 150 yards, was losing ground on the 5th at the post. That was easily his best effort in three runs at Cheltenham – might do better away from there
Le Ligerien
Got two wins within three days back in January, at Newbury on 15th and Haydock on 18th, in the latter making just about all, opened up a 2- to 3-length lead turning out of back straight, pressed on approaching 3 out, mistake there, hard driven, stayed on, hard ridden though in clear lead and idled if anything approaching last, hard driven last 125 yards, perhaps didn’t have a lot left last 50 yards but decisively beat Flamboyant Joyaux. Took his chance in County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but didn’t do well after three noted mistakes (including a serious blunder at the second last), tailed off behind Saint Roi. Overdid the front running at Chepstow on reappearance behind Dear Sire, 15 lengths clear by 2nd, was closed on home turn and led only 5 lengths straightening though still moved comfortably, pursuers closed further, headed 3 out and niggled along, still half a chance when went left and mistake 2 out, ridden and headed approaching last, 3rd beaten 9 lengths. Has won over 2m3f before and acts on heavy; tough task at the ratings but unexposed
Minella Charmer
When last seen was in the form of his life and is another lining up on a long-range hattrick, his wins coming at Newcastle in March 2019 and Haydock on only start last season in December, in the latter sent on, in close and brushed inside wing 6th, was challenged home turn but moved largely comfortably, drew 2 lengths clear 3 out, in close to 2 out and was challenged, 1st 2 pulled clear, pushed along approaching last, reached for it and blundered, driven and found extra run-in, all out last 150 yards but always holding on, genuine effort to beat Fin And Game. Having won on unraceable ground at Plumpton for previous connections we know the going holds no terrors, neither the trip, and can go well if fit enough
War Lord
Two wins last season; best to date when chasing home Arrivederci at Wetherby on reappearance although not entirely satisfactory; held up, a little keen, headway and midfield 4th, closer order and prominent 7th, raced wide 8th, disputed 5th some 5 lengths off leader home turn, shuffled back and switched inside rivals to challenge between horses approaching 3 out, moved comfortably, niggled along then effort delayed as moved upsides leaders going to 2 out, mistake, stayed upsides Arrivederci and rather cajoled along between last 2, carried head a little awkwardly, mistake last, hard driven and one pace run-in, left behind. You could see why his effort was delayed – this one needs producing halfway up the run-in, he’s one of those types – but likely to run well again
Shakem Up’Arry
A couple of promising outings in maiden hurdles before running poorly in Envoi Allen’s Ballymore Novices’ at the Cheltenham Festival, making the early running before dropping away from the 5th. Got his win on reappearance at Ffos Las on November 8th, made all, moved much the best approaching 2 out, went further clear before and after last, looked to have plenty left on his way to beating Unohu just over 8 lengths. A half-brother to 3m winner Imperial Bay and 2m3f winner Feenakilmeedy, this one should have no problem staying this trip
On The Wild Side
Ebony Jewel
Second hurdles win, and best form to date, at Newcastle on January 28th, held up, keen, straight-backed jumps 1st 2, mistake 5th, edged closer after 6th, headway and a length and a half down on the bit 2 out, shaken up, ran on and led last, driven out, drew clear run-in, decisive from Foxey. Was well held behind Tegerek at Cheltenham on reappearance. No certainty to stay this far on pedigree
Back to winning ways at Carlisle on October 22nd, chased leader approaching 4th, vigorously pushed along for a few strides after 5th and 6th, some 5 lengths to find 3 out, put under strong pressure and stayed on approaching 2 out where blundered, sustained effort and led between last 2, went right, wandered approaching last, hard driven, was 4 or 5 lengths clear when had to be steered left to avoid an obstruction near the line (a horse pulled up earlier in the race getting treatment), had ears pricked, was closed on but stayed on well enough last 125 yards to beat No Regrets. Two starts earlier he was 4th to Chapmanshype in a Class 2 handicap hurdle over 2m4f at Kelso, outpaced on faster ground than at Carlisle, put under pressure run-in, picked up last 150 yards and nothing was finishing faster – the trip there was absolutely no problem, and interesting here over 2m3f on soft ground

Shortlist: Umbrigado, Arrivederci, Kaizer

Haydock 2:25
Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle Class 1 Grade 3
3m58y – Going: Soft (Good to Soft in places) – 17 runners

Best efforts last season when 2nd to Forest Bihan in Old Roan Chase at Aintree, blundered 2nd, headway and chased leader 7th, produced to challenge going quite comfortably passing omitted 3 out, every chance passing omitted 2 out, shaken up, readily outpaced passing omitted last; also good 2nd to Oldgrangewood at Newbury; early mistake and off the bit halfway when tailed off behind the same horse at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, and well held behind Altior in Game Spirit at Newbury in February when last seen. To start his season in this race is left-field, but has credibility – his dam is a full sister to Kicking King, and he’s well treated on his best chase form
On first start for nearly a year, was a long way off his best in bet365 Hurdle (West Yorkshire) at Wetherby on October 31st, held up, blundered 1st, towards rear when a little slow 2nd, jumped a bit sideways 4th, headway and midfield 6th, edged closer 9th, tracked leaders on inner turning out of back straight, pushed along home turn, every chance till hard ridden and mistake 3 out, quickly faded, no extra under pressure approaching 2 out, weakened between last 2, looked tired and heavy-legged when mistake last, didn’t look to be striding out run-in, tailed off behind Roksana. Finishing like a crab with a leg missing, the mistake at the 1st set the tone – he barely got one right after that. He’s very well treated on back form, but looked a light of other days at Wetherby
The Jam Man
Largely progressive and versatile horse who won on the Flat at York in October. Next start was in the Troytown at Navan 13 days ago, one of the most competitive handicap chases in Ireland, and he took it to pieces; midfield 8th, niggled along 4 out with 10 lengths to find, headway home turn and came back on the bit approaching 3 out, pushed along after it, 1st 3 drew clear, the best jump and led 2 out, quickly drew clear and not hard ridden to do so, niggled along approaching last, pushed out, stayed on well, drew further clear, decisive by 18 lengths from Roaring Bull. Best over hurdles when runner-up to the then-progressive Treacysenniscorthy at Leopardstown in February, seemed poised bend before 2 out, shaken up after it, threaded a path between horses and effort under a ride home turn, stayed on well and moved into 2nd under pressure approaching last, 1st 2 clear, jumped it 2 lengths down, hard driven, no extra final 150 yards. The handicapper’s taken no chances putting him on 148, but there was no sign of him reaching his limit in the Troytown
Main Fact
This amazingly progressive one was posting his fifth hurdles win on the bounce when taking a Class 2 handicap at Uttoxeter last March, niggled along to make a start, held up, mistake 1st, niggled away from it, made a little ground and going more comfortably after 2nd, just about midfield 3rd, closer order 5th racing wide, prominent 7th, disputed lead 3 out, soon sent on going best of the field, pushed along nearing 2 out in a clear lead, pushed along and drew further clear by last, kept up to his work, readily and decisive from Kateson. Since resumption has won three from three on the Flat between October 23rd and November 4th, racing lazily and hard work each time, at Nottingham on the third of them pushed along and became detached home turn, going worst of the field 4 1/2 f out, put under pressure 3f out, stayed on and closed on those ahead, raced down the middle of the track away from the others (they were all middle to stands’ side), led 2f out, drew clear, kept pouring it on under a ride entering final furlong. Will be hard work for useful 7-lb claimer Fergus Gillard, but very much a player
Who Dares Wins
The 2019 Northumberland Plate winner went over fences last jumps season and posted his best effort in Pendil at Kempton in February, nudged along approaching 10th, more firmly pushed and made ground to be in touch 11th, pushed along again 12th, left disputing lead by Master Tommytucker’s fall 4 out, pushed along, led home turn, in close to 3 out, headed by Southfield Stone 2 out, hard ridden, rallied and led last, driven out; was tailed off in Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival when last seen over jumps. Back on the Flat, best of three starts when winning a soft-looking renewal of the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot, niggled along 4f out, hard ridden home turn, put under pressure and effort 2f out, stayed on to lead entering final furlong, immediately challenged, ridden out, pulled out more last 150 yards and held on by a neck from The Grand Visir. Most recent start over hurdles was in April 2018 and was a typically good performance when 3rd to Jester Jet in the 2m4f handicap hurdle at Aintree’s Grand National meeting – staying on till held in the last 75 yards; well treated over hurdles on his first jumps start of this season, a big run is likely
Third Wind*
Best form last season when taking a Pertemps Qualifier at Wincanton on heavy ground on Boxing Day, stayed on well to lead approaching last, jumped slightly left, driven out from Jatiluwih; was 4th to Sire Du Berlais in the Final at Cheltenham. Shaped well on ground too lively for him in Pertemps Qualifier at Newbury on reappearance, a bit to do when pushed along after 3 out, closer order approaching 2 out, hard ridden and chased winner approaching last, no extra approaching last, hard driven and one pace run-in, lost 4th 100 yards out, stuck to task and was closing on the 4th final strides. Stamina is what this one is all about, and the Newbury race didn’t play to his strengths – there’s more chance of this contest doing so
Ask Dillon
Inauspicious reappearance this season, led or disputed till fell heavily 7th in novice chase at Cheltenham won by Galvin. Reverts to hurdles, in which sphere he produced a good effort to finish runner-up to Limited Reserve in Grade 3 Heroes Handicap Hurdle at Sandown in February, though looked very hard work; hard ridden and arguably going worst of the field approaching 7th where mistake, held place under a vigorous ride approaching 10th, stayed on home turn, closed on leaders approaching 2 out, within 3 lengths jumping, put under strong pressure, no more approaching last and jumped it in 5 lengths 4th, driven and stayed on last 150 yards, took 2nd close home, going away from 3rd final strides but not reach winner. His three wins have all come on galloping right-hand tracks and that, along with his race-long-flat-spot run style, puts me off
West To The Bridge
Two good runs from two starts this season, firstly when runner-up to Sirobbie over 2m7f at Uttoxeter in October on reappearance;  dropped out last, easily moved into 2nd and travelled much the best 2 out, nudged along and switched to outer approaching last, finally pushed along and carried head a little high, not fluent last, pair clear, to a small extent lugged left, ridden and no extra last 150 yards – looked the winner and didn’t win, Couldn’t help but win in a less competitive race at Carlisle last time, edging closer when mistake 3 out, yet to be asked for an effort and was a length and a bit behind 2 out, tracked leaders on the bridle approaching last as 1st 3 drew clear, moved upsides then finally shaken up 175 yards out, found the necessary, ridden out, stayed on well to draw clear, readily by just over 3 lengths from Mount Mews and Teescomponents Lad, who won at Market Rasen earlier this week. A half-brother to 3m-winner Yes No Maybe So, he should get this trip  – and get a race run to suit – whether or not he’ll go through with it is another matter
No wins since March 2018; third double-digit defeat from his last three starts when well held behind Jacamar at Aintree last month on reappearance, last pair when blundered 3rd (cross hurdle), ridden into 4th, niggled along and struggling 6th, detached last 7th, edged closer and in touch with main group though still in rear when mistake 3 out (cross hurdle), dropped away after 2 out, well back when jumped left last, 10th beaten 21 lengths. Likely to be one of the first off the bit
Imperial Alcazar*
Two wins in a good novice season last term, however best form in defeat when runner-up to Protektorat in Listed novice at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day in a controversial finish, led briefly 8th, taken wide and vigorously pushed along as pace picked up going down the hill to 2 out, led there, niggled along approaching home turn, more vigorously ridden along once in line for home, put under pressure approaching last, was headed jumping, hard driven and went a length down, had his ground taken by Protektorat 200 yards out and switched middle, hard driven, rallied last 125 yards, closed on winner but just held post – Imperial Alcazar was awarded the race, but the jockey didn’t have to stop riding when the interference happened and it was the correct decision to reinstate Protektorat at the subsequent BHA enquiry. When last seen out won in workmanlike but decisive style at Leicester in late January, not going as well as Muckamore after the third last but finding plenty and clear at the last. Appeals as a future 3m chaser but this is a suitable race to start his season, the longer trip likely to bring about improvement
Dolphin Square
Won at Ludlow then good 2nd to One For The Team at Newbury last season. Sound reappearance effort in Pertemps Qualifier at Newbury on November 5th, tracked leaders 9th, moved comfortably off home turn, every chance 3 out, pushed along away from it, chased winner approaching 2 out, put under pressure between last 2, no impression on winner approaching last, lost 2nd, hard driven, stayed on and re-took 2nd 150 yards out, drew clear of 3rd, no impression on Dell ‘Arca. Unlucky to run into one in the form of his life there and should get a win at some point – it wouldn’t be a total surprise if that win was in this
I K Brunel
Best effort last season when winning over 3m at Haydock on heavy, niggled along in midfield approaching 7th, made up lost ground and prominent again next, niggled along turning out of back straight, effort under a ride from home turn and chased leader approaching 3 out, led there, pushed along, 1st 2 pulled clear, upsides last, driven out, stayed on well run-in to beat Big Shark. Might not have been wet enough for him (has to have it soft or heavy) at Aintree on reappearance in Pertemps Qualifier but still ran well for a long way, disputed lead 10th, niggled along after 3 out (cross hurdle), moved largely comfortably in a share of the lead home turn, pushed along and carried head to one side straightening, faded nearing 2 out, hard ridden, no extra before mistake last, lost further ground on those ahead run-in. Beginning to look exposed in this grade, this race stronger than the Aintree one
Makes a habit of taking no interest then turning up late in her races, like in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham last March, was 16th with 12 lengths to find on straightening, pulled wide 250 yards off last and stayed on, closed on leaders wide nearing it, hard driven, stayed on up the hill, closed on the 4th last 100 yards but not quite get the place. Reappearance in Lismullen Hurdle at Navan was more of the same, held up, not fluent 4th, lost place and niggled along in slightly detached last 8th, pushed along after 9th, outpaced and ridden along 3 out, hung left under a ride going to 2 out, passed a beaten one after last, well held 4th (would have been 5th if Ronald Pump hadn’t fallen at the last) behind Sire Du Berlais. Wears cheekpieces for the first time, but best watched for me
Looked capable of improvement when, under a kid-gloves ride, he was 2nd to Earth Moor at Wincanton in March after arguably moving best with two to jump, and he proved the point at Fontwell last month on his reappearance, closed up after 6th, edged closer home turn, tracked 1st 3 2 out, looked for a run next to stands’ side (outside) rail approaching last but no room and switched between horses with a length and a bit to find nearing last, shaken up and found extra to chase leader 175 yards out, hard driven, led 125 yards out, drew clear final strides, decisive in the end from Hijack. There could have been another length on the winning distance if he’d got the run on the rail that the jockey was looking for after the last, and this one looks progressive, although he is the type that needs to be produced late; additionally, on breeding he should only stay 2m4f (dam won at up to 2m5f), so a tall order here
Largely exposed (had 49 starts), but produced best to date to beat reopposing Highland Hunter at Ayr on October 31st in a steadily-run race, held up last, in close to 3rd, slightly detached last starting final circuit, mistake 7th, finally passed a rival 8th, moved largely comfortably 9th, pushed along and headway into midfield 3 out, continued to close, bumped rival approaching 2 out, further headway to lead there, hard driven between last 2, wandered in front, led 2 lengths when mistake last, hard driven, stayed on, was closed on run-in, found extra under pressure last 100 yards. Signs of a quirk, but to come from last to first (his usual run style) when there was a steady early pace is meritorious – it’ll be harder to do that here though in this better race, and his record over the Summer – which included defeats in Class 2 and 3 handicap hurdles – suggests he’ll be outclassed in this
Fauburg Rosetgri
British debut; 28 runs, three wins for Gabriel Leenders in France, debuted November 2015, effective at 2m6f, won on heavy, and in October 2018 at Auteuil was beaten 6 1/2 lengths (trying to concede 18 lbs) to Saint Xavier, who’s now in training with Richard Hobson. Recent best and worst: won at Auteuil on 2nd November 2019, moved comfortably tracking leaders 15th, 4 lengths to find home turn, moved into 2nd approaching 2 out, shaken up, carried head a bit high, put under pressure approaching last, a length to find, hard ridden, stayed on last 200 yards, led 125 yards out, ridden out, stayed on well enough. Gave the impression he hung fire when first shaken up after the second last, and found just enough close home to beat Doux Dingue; last time out pulled up at Pau  on February 2nd, mistake 6th, raced inner 8th, in close to 9th, mistake 10th, niggled along approaching 11th, hard ridden after 12th, dropped to detached last by next, struggling 14th, tailed off when pulled up before 2 out. Joined Nigel Twiston-Davies, but with no placing better than 4th over 2m7f or more, he looks an unlikely stayer
Highland Hunter
In this race last year was 8th to Stoney Mountain (fancied at 9/1), prominent going comfortably though short of room turning out of back straight, hard ridden home turn, soon beaten, lost place, well held and carrying head high approaching 3 out, put under pressure, made no ground, hung left between last 2, no more from last; then won a Pertemps Qualifier at Musselburgh from Mighty Thunder (looks an above-average novice chaser this season) back in February. Continued his upward curve with a 2nd to Justatenner at Ayr on October 31st, tracked leaders 9th and moved largely comfortably, pushed along home turn, a length down 3 out, ridden, hung left but led narrowly approaching 2 out, headed nearing it, ridden and outpaced approaching last, looked held, hard driven run-in, stayed on 200 yards out, closed on leaders, half a chance 100 yards out, no extra close home, just got 2nd post. A slightly odd finish – it was his to lose when he hit the front before the second last, then faded, then picked up again on the run-in. Not sure what to expect, but unexposed and could do something – I’d want good odds though considering his run in this last year

Shortlist: Kalashnikov, Third Wind, Imperial Alcazar

Haydock 3:00
Betfair Chase Class 1 Grade 1
3m1f125y – Going: Soft – 5 runners

Best run last season was a modest 7th in Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown last Christmas, hard ridden and one pace after 2 out, looked held under pressure home turn, well held last, weakened run-in behind Delta Work, then finished weakly behind Acapella Bourgeois in Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse. On first start for Sandy Thomson, little expected
Bristol De Mai**
Unsurprisingly perhaps, his best effort last season was his 2nd to Lostintranslation in this race, led, in close to 12th, niggled along from home turn, ridden along 3 out, was closed on by Lostintranslation approaching 2 out, hard ridden, stayed on, headed last, put under pressure, stuck to task but no extra final 175 yards – looked to be fighting a losing battle from the third last and so it proved; subsequently made a lot of the running when beaten by Santini in Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham before flopping in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The softer going for this renewal might see him turn the tables with Lostintranslation
Clan Des Obeaux
The dual King George-winner made his one and only appearance in this race to date in 2018 and was just short of 9 lengths 4th to Bristol De Mai; top-class effort to win his second King George at Kempton back in December, moved best when produced to challenge Cyrname home turn, slight lead 3 out, the better jump and asserted 2 out, ridden well clear, some 20 lengths up last. Could go well – he’s a better horse now than two years ago
Keeper Hill
Distant 4th to Cyrname in Charlie Hall at Wetherby on reappearance, nudged along some 8 lengths down in 6th turning out of back straight, pushed along and outpaced home turn, looked well held 4 out, kept on approaching 3 out, hard ridden and stayed on to take 4th going to 2 out, mistake there, couldn’t make ground on 1st 3 between last 2, well back last. Has no pretensions to going close here
‘Arrived’ in this race last year, held up last and detached, travelled strongly, started to close 14th, brushed 15th, still last turning out of back straight but travelled comfortably, readily closed on Bristol De Mai and travelled much the best from 3 out to next, shaken up from 2 out, didn’t put it to bed immediately, staying on and upsides when brushed last, asserted run-in and went a length up, driven out, all out, stayed on well last 150 yards. After pulling up in the King George – Kempton not his track by the looks – backed up his win in this race with a fine 3rd to Al Boum Photo and Santini in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, switched wide of the leaders at the top of the hill and made ground to track leaders approaching 4 out, drew upsides jumping, chased Al Boum Photo 3 out at most a neck down, at most nudged along after it, niggled along home turn, pushed along and stayed on upsides Al Boum Photo when in close to 2 out, hard ridden, sustained effort and might have led narrowly approaching last, upsides jumping, hard driven, headed 175 yards out, no extra final 100 yards, faded late and was being closed on by the 4th but stuck to task. Sure to go well again, although the ground’s softer than for last year’s running and that might sway it towards Bristol De Mai

Alternative: Lostintranslation

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