Lots of these can be easily discounted, and Colin Tizzard’s FAUSTINOVICK is the one to side with on his hurdling debut after shaping really well when second in a strong Newbury bumper in the spring. Tizzard has his string in good order and Faustinovick makes plenty of appeal in this field. Donald McCain’s ex-French winning-chaser Pichelot sets something of a poser as he has his first start for 17 months here but he’s highly respected along with fairly useful bumper winner Equus Dancer.
He was going the right way over hurdles when last seen, winning a couple of novice hurdles at Lingfield and here to close out the season. It would be no surprise were he to hit the ground running now switched to the larger obstacles ahead of this reappearance, very much a chasing type on looks. He’s preferred to fellow chasing debutants Two For Gold and I’m To Blame, with Hill Sixteen not ruled out returning to a suitable distance.
This is the first runner for Donald Whillans in a while, but his opening mark is an appealing one considering his bumper form, so it’s worth chancing that he’ll be fit enough to do himself justice on reappearance where the others don’t make much appeal. Frightened Rabbit, Tim Rocco and Maypole Class head the opposition.
Looks another potential star for Colin Tizzard, one of the top novice chasers last season, winning the Dipper at Cheltenham and proving better than ever when also successful in the Mildmay at Aintree on his final start. That was his first try at three miles, and he is being trained with the Gold Cup in mind this term, but he should prove too classy for these on his return to action, so the trip isn’t a concern. It will be disappointing if he doesn’t make a winning return, with Kildisart the main danger.
He got back on the up at Ayr in March, and could easily have more to offer this season given he remains low mileage, so is fancied to defy a subsequent 6 lb rise in the weights to make a winning return. Aye Right arrives here at the top of his game, so must be respected, with Eternally Yours and Becky The Thatcher others to consider.
At the top of his game and produced a career-best when returning with victory over C&D last week, and he could well defy his new mark in his current mood for a yard that are going along nicely at present. Weststreet and Scotchtown will both pay their way again this season and must be considered.
His debut second came in what will likely turn out to be a decent contest and he can make a successful start for new trainer Donald McCain, perhaps at the main expense of Wee Goldie who also shaped with plenty of promise when filling the runner-up spot on his first start. Brian Ellison’s Sea Me Win would also need considering if the betting suggests he’s fancied.