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INTUITIVE comes into this from a strong Class 2 handicap at Wolverhampton. It’s thrown up three winners already (including Tranchee winning in stakes company) and the race was only three weeks ago. Intuitive was held up on that occasion and ran very credibly off a slowish pace.
He turns up here off the same mark and this might not be as strong a race as Wolverhampton was. Fox Power arrives off the back of a gelding operation and has to be respected if he can gather some of his old form, but Intuitive is sure to enjoy this and will hopefully make his first go at a mile a winning one.
ALOHAMORA ran a respectable race on her comeback run at Limerick last month, and that outing should leave her spot on for today’s race you’d imagine. She was basically a course and distance winner this time last year in a similar contest off a 10lbs lower mark, but she was going to win on her next start in Catterick over fences before falling. Stepping back up in trip should play to her strengths and she should outrun her odds.
You rarely see a high-quality handicap won in the manner in which CHATHAM STREET LAD did in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup. Although he has to race off a 10lb higher mark here, that shouldn’t stop him.
He’s proven over the trip and in these conditions, in a race where he doesn’t look to have many credible challengers, it would be disappointing if he couldn’t get another win under his belt before moving on to Grade 1 company.
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This looks a wide-open renewal of this Grade 2 novices hurdle, a race which can be a decent pointer to the Cheltenham festival – with Willoughby Court and The New One both doing the double in the recent past. A case can be made for many, but I was really taken with JAY BEEN WHY when he won over this course and distance on his hurdles debut on soft ground.
He was always travelling well within himself and made his ground up effortlessly, cruising into the straight and impressing me with the way he picked up to put the race to bed in a matter of strides. The second that day was a really well backed newcomer for Nicky Henderson, and Jay Bee Why slammed him. He is a horse of quite a bit of potential and he can step forward to play a big part here.
ON THE BLIND SIDE looks to be the most solid option in a race where his opposition have plenty of questions to answer. His form this season has been extremely consistent and a reproduction of last week’s second to McFabulous in the rescheduled Relkeel Hurdle would likely be good enough in this company. The extra two furlongs and more testing ground are in his favour, and he looks to have less to prove than Lil Rockerfeller who is the main danger on form.
COME ON TEDDY was very impressive at Cheltenham in December and looks more than capable of defying a 7lbs rise in the weights here. The form of that race looks strong, with On The Blind Side (who was second) finishing second again in the Relkeel Hurdle last week. Even though there are a few interesting rivals in here, Come On Teddy should prove very difficult to beat.
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