This looks a good-looking novice hurdle, and slight preference is for TWOMINUTES TURKISH, who was impressive when making a winning start over hurdles at Fakenham last month and should be up to defying a penalty. He showed up okay in a couple of bumpers last season, but is built for jumping and justified good support, drawing clear before the straight, and in control when putting in his only unconvincing jump at the last. There should be plenty of progress in him now.
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Several of these have potential over fences, but ARIAN looked a much-improved model making his first start for Philip Hobbs when making a winning return in a heavy-ground handicap chase at Newton Abbot last month. He blundered the sixth, but made good headway on the bridle out wide in the back straight and asserted from two out, winning with a fair bit in hand. A subsequent 7 lb rise looks more than fair and another bold bid is expected.
THE GLANCING QUEEN looks an intriguing runner making her hurdles debut. She was a useful bumper performer in 2018/19, notably winning the Grade 2 bumper at Aintree’s Grand National meeting, and impressed with the way she moved into contention in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival on her sole start last season. She has had a couple of respectable spins on the Flat this summer but is very interesting up in trip now sent hurdling.
Only three runners are set to go to post for this novice chase but it is still a fascinating contest that can go the way of four-year-old chasing debutant STRATAGEM. He was well held up in grade on his return in a minor event at Cheltenham last month, but Paul Nicholls stated beforehand he would be sent chasing next and he likely left plenty to work on there. Stratagem gets a handy weight-for-age allowance and Nicholls has enjoyed success with similar types in the past.
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ROCK ON TIGER remains a maiden and isn’t the most consistent performer, but he must be held in some regard looking at his starting prices, and could be worth another chance with the cheekpieces applied now. He should also appreciate the step up in trip, too, and this mark shouldn’t be beyond him when everything clicks.
STRONG PURSUIT clearly hasn’t been the easiest horse to train, but he shaped as if retaining all his ability and enthusiasm when last seen on Boxing Day at Newbury, and could be worth chancing on his return from another absence. This is his first foray into a veterans’ event, has been dropped another 3 lb in the handicap, remains very lightly raced for his age, and returns with his yard in form. All of these factors are worth considering.
AUTHORIZED PURSUIT is arguably the pick on pedigree and represents a quality stable, so he’s a tentative selection in a bumper that’s difficult to assess without the benefit of market clues. Hoopmalassie and Weird Sister are bred to have a bit more speed than the selection and should be well forward, so they also make plenty of appeal.
Timeform’s tips at Warwick on Wednesday
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