* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
DEFINING BATTLE developed into a useful performer on the Flat for Mick Halford in 2019, and shaped well on his first start for 585 days when finishing fourth on his hurdling debut at Newbury last month.
That was a relatively deep novice hurdle and Defining Battle did some eye-catching late work having been plenty keen enough in the early part of the race and still having plenty to do once entering the straight. He is likely to have come on a fair bit for both the run and initial experience, so there is plenty to like about his chance here.
GRANDADS COTTAGE cost £200,000 after winning an Irish point and, though he is yet to live up to that hefty price tag, he shaped really well when narrowly denied by Time To Tinker over this course and distance last time. He is now weighted to reverse the form.
That was easily Grandads Cottage’s best performance under Rules, looming up looking very threatening two out and was leading at the final flight, only to be edged out in the final strides. That was his first run for three months, so he is entitled to strip fitter now. He is a confident selection to reverse the form on these revised terms.
It is very much likely that we are yet to see the best of RAINBOW STORM, and he could be worth backing to show improved form now making his handicap debut. He has started at big odds in all three starts over hurdles.
He was beaten over 40 lengths over 2-and-a-half miles at Hereford when last seen in November, but there is a feeling that he has been brought along with handicaps in mind. Rainbow Storm steps up to 3m now and, for all an opening mark of 99 is no gift given what he has achieved so far, he ought to be better than this mark at some point.