Goshen was a rapid improver on the Flat, winning his last three starts in that sphere, and he created an excellent impression over hurdles with wide-margin victories in juvenile events at Fontwell and Sandown. He looked something out of the ordinary at Sandown last month and he should prove difficult to beat.
Nearly Perfect left the form of his chase debut behind when producing a sound jumping display to score at Wincanton earlier this month, staying on well after making the running. He is unexposed as a chaser and looks up to defying a 5 lb rise in the weights and a step up in grade.
Papagana relished the step up to three miles on her first try at the trip in March, galloping on strongly to land the odds at Doncaster, and she took another step forward when landing a mares’ listed event at Kempton on her reappearance in November. She had something to find on form in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot last month but ran well upped in grade, and she is a likeable stayer, still low mileage and the one to beat in this field.
Bold Plan was a progressive novice hurdler last season and he took a big step forward from his reappearance in the Silver Trophy when scoring at Haydock last time, looking some way ahead of his mark. He scored by two and a half lengths but was value for more than the winning margin as he came from further back in a race that wasn’t run to suit such tactics. He is a handicapper to keep on the right side and a 10 lb rise may not be enough to stop him following up here.
Sam’s Adventure has yet to win over fences but he has improved with each start in this sphere and appears to be on a fair mark. He looked a bit rusty when fourth on his chasing debut in November but stepped up on that run when just edged out at Newcastle by a game sort who has won well twice since.
He was unlucky to bump into the thriving Domaine de l’Isle at Newcastle last time, but he meets that rival on 8 lb better terms here and may reverse the form. The promising Jack Tudor takes 7 lb off, which enhances his claims.
Defi du Seuil and Un de Sceaux fought out a thrilling finish to the Tingle Creek at Sandown last month and they renew rivalry here, with Defi du Seuil expected to confirm the form. Defi Du Seuil is already a leading Champion Chase candidate and probably has still more to offer, so he gets the vote over the game Un de Sceaux, who has won this race three times and will be well suited by the testing conditions.
Faustinovick ran a race full of promise when runner-up on his debut under Rules before shaping with encouragement on his first attempt over hurdles. He failed to progress as expected at Newbury on his latest appearance but he remains with potential and, having his first sun since undergoing a breathing operation, there is a good chance he can take a big step forward.
*Prices and entries correct at time of posting