Irish point winner King Roland looked something out of the ordinary on his first start under Rules, cruising to a 22-length victory in a Uttoxeter bumper. He continued his progress at Ffos Las, maintaining his unbeaten record, and he looks a really exciting prospect for the Harry Fry team on his hurdling debut.
West To The Bridge has made a fairly solid start over fences and is worth chancing here after looking rather unfortunate when second at Wetherby earlier this month. He made good progress five from home and was closing on the leader when he pecked on landing two-out, thwarting all chances of a victory. He rallied well to get up for second late on and is expected to give his all running again here off the same mark.
Irish point winner Shan Blue produced an encouraging performance when third in a Warwick bumper on his first start under Rules and he again showed plenty of promise on his hurdling debut at Wetherby – pulling clear of the rest of the field to finish runner-up. Dan Skelton’s charge looks open to further improvement and is taken to get off the mark in this sphere at the second time of asking.
Kalashnikov finally made his breakthrough at Grade 1 level in the Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree last season and returned with an excellent second in the Old Roan Chase at the same track last month. Amy Murphy’s gelding has long promised to make a high-class chaser and, with more to come this term, can cash in off a decent handicap mark.
Dual Grade 1 novice hurdle winner Champ scored with a good bit in hand on his chase debut here three weeks ago. He jumped slightly left but ultimately won decisively from Dashel Drasher and is taken to uphold that form. He is an exciting addition to the chasing ranks for Nicky Henderson and can take this rise in class in his stride.
Paisley Park signed off his unbeaten campaign with a superb victory in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, storming clear from the last in his trademark style. He could be an imperious figure in this division for years to come. The Worlds End and Unowhatimeanharry have had the advantage of a run already this campaign after fighting it out in a Wetherby Grade 2, but Emma Lavelle’s champion stayer is impossible to oppose on his return.
Potters Hedger showed consistent form following his two victories last winter and may be worth siding with in an open race. Lucy Wadham’s charge finished a creditable second at Lingfield on his reappearance and should put up a bold showing here with the benefit of that run. Anytime Will Do is a more unexposed type who looked a fine prospect when landing his first three outings under Rules. He looks a danger after getting back on track when third at Market Rasen on his reappearance.
12:15 King Roland
12:45 West To The Bridge
13:20 Shan Blue
15:00 Paisley Park
15:35 Potters Hedger
* All odds correct at time of posting.