Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation look a little bit ahead of this field and while the score between the two is currently 1-1, there are plenty of reasons to believe it should be 2-0 to Defi. When he was beaten at Cheltenham he was conceding 3lbs to Lostintranslation and was delivered too early and was outfought up the straight.
Barry Geraghty learnt his lesson for the rematch at Sandown where he delivered Defi to perfection after the last and won nicely. I anticipate a similar ride tomorrow and he is most certainly the one to beat.
This is a really competitive handicap but Kalondra makes plenty of appeal off a mark of 147. A course winner last year when he slammed subsequent Ultima winner Coo Star Sivola conceding him five pounds, he then ran a hugely promising race in the Silver Trophy here last April. That race was extremely competitive and the form is working out really nicely – on that day he travelled all over them but went for home too early and was collared on the run in to finish third.
That was off a mark of 145, but he showed that he can win off a similar mark once he’s produced a bit later in the race. The Neil Mulholland stable is in form and he makes plenty of each way appeal now the ground has started to dry out a little.
Sky Pirate is very much unexposed with only ten career starts and just four starts over fences. He is yet to win over fences but was second on his first two chase starts before being a massive eyecatcher when running at Cheltenham in November.
He was just about to make his challenge at the second-last when he was brought down by a faller. I’m convinced he would have won that day but he still remains on the same mark of 134. He was given a nice prep at Exeter a few weeks ago and that should leave him spot on here. The drying ground will be in his favour and I’m hoping that he is well enough ahead of the handicapper to go close here.