Just two runners, and Angels Breath is expected to extend his unbeaten start over fences. A Grade 2 winner over hurdles, he made a sparkling chasing debut on his reappearance here last month, winning in an excellent time. He looked a novice chaser to follow on the back of such an authoritative success and should see off Mont des Avaloirs, who looked a decent prospect in his own right when fourth to Champ on his reappearance.
It Sure Is hails from a good jumping family – his dam is a half-sister to the very smart Voler La Vedette – and he has shown plenty of ability himself, winning an Irish point on debut and then finishing runner-up in a Newbury novice hurdle on his first start under Rules. He looked a strong stayer at Newbury, keeping on powerfully close home to grab second, and should improve for this slightly stiffer test.
Sully d’Oc AA shaped with clear promise when sixth here on his chase debut last month and then built on that when runner-up in a strong contest at Newbury. Sully d’Oc AA looked unlucky to bump into a good prospect at Newbury, but pulled clear of the remainder and is open to further progress in this sphere. He has been left on the same mark and is expected to open his account over fences.
Ribble Valley won two of his three outings in bumpers and has made an excellent start to his hurdling career, bolting up at Hexham and Wetherby. He didn’t have much to beat at Hexham but he had a lot more on his plate at Wetherby under a penalty against some promising rivals. He quickly put them in their place, however, and looked a good prospect as he pulled clear to win by 11 lengths in a good time. He had plenty in hand and looks a horse to follow.
Kozier was progressive on the Flat during 2017, signing off in that sphere with a comfortable handicap success at Chepstow, and he offered plenty to work with when finishing runner-up on his hurdles debut later that year. He proved that he retains plenty of ability when finishing second at Exeter last month on his return from more than two years off, and he looks to have been let in lightly on his handicap hurdle debut.
This is a good contest, featuring plenty of promising types, but Soaring Glory is expected to complete the hat-trick having registered an extremely impressive success here last time. He had shown plenty of promise when winning on debut at Warwick, despite showing his inexperience, and he took a big step forward at Ascot, impressing with how smoothly he travelled through the race, always looking likely to pick off the re-opposing Kid Commando in the straight. That was a useful effort and he will take all the beating.
*Prices correct at time of publishing