No Rematch showed good form over hurdles last season to follow up his bumper debut second and looks likely to go on to better things now he’s switched to handicaps. He is yet to shed his maiden tag but has shown promise in each of his runs and can make his presence felt here with the step up in trip expected to suit. Eva’s Oskar rates as the main threat as he looks to make it three wins from three this campaign.
Shamilan makes his chasing debut here after showing promise over hurdles last season and the step up in trip will no doubt suit. Less than three miles was barely enough of a test for Tom George’s gelding last time out and his pedigree suggests that he will make a much better chaser over this sort of distance so he is taken to find enough improvement to make it a winning start over the larger obstacles.
Bumper winner Arrivederci shaped promisingly on his first start over hurdles when third at Warwick earlier this month and looks sure to improve for a top yard. His bumper form has been working out well with all three of the horses that beat him home on his second outing winning since (including GetInThe Queue). The step-up in trip should suit and he is expected to make another bold bid.
Shadow’s Girl won this race last year off a 1lb higher mark and has champion jockey Richard Johnson back on board today for the first time since that victory. This is not a race bursting with quality so Bernard Llewellyn’s mare is taken to win here for the second consecutive year with the unexposed Peltwell possibly posing the biggest threat on her handicap debut.
Prime Venture was below form when last seen, finishing ninth in the Sandown Gold Cup, but he arrives here fresh and looks the one to beat if able to replicate the good chase form he showed prior to that run. His experience over fences, along with his liking for this course, should count for plenty here and he gets the vote to make a winning return to the track.
A stiffer test should suit No Cruise Yet who showed improved form when 10 lengths fourth on his handicap debut at Bangor. He should have more to offer in this sphere and is down 1lb from his previous outing. He represents a stable in excellent form at the minute and has a good chance of continuing their good run in this open race.
Gifting connections £160,000 after he landed an Irish point on debut, Linelee King makes obvious appeal on paper for a successful yard, so is one to take seriously on his Rules debut. Evan Williams has a decent record with bumper debutants so Cardiff Bay will be of interest if there is any movement in the market.