Mr Clarkson improved markedly for a breathing operation at the start of this season, winning cosily at Worcester in May before proving better than ever ten weeks on to make it two wins in two starts this term at Cartmel.
He had his winning run ended at the same track six weeks later after not fully settling, but showed a good aptitude for chasing when third over just under two-and-a-half miles at Exeter on New Year’s Day.
He is likely to progress further now back to an ideal trip and is the pick in this field on hurdling form, so gets the vote to open his account over fences at the second time of asking.
Despite looking badly in need of the experience, and not having the best of passages, Will To Win showed ability at Newmarket on his debut, and it was clear he had learnt plenty from that outing when showing much improved form to get off the mark at Lingfield in June.
He had the run of the race but still won with a bit in hand and followed up in good style seven months on, finding plenty to defy a penalty at Wolverhampton. He is open to further improvement and, with his opening mark seemingly a fair one, he is taken to complete the hat-trick.
With the emphasis too much on speed for Waiheke over two miles at Hereford, she was given a somewhat considerate ride on her return from a break/first outing for Henry Oliver. She stepped up in no uncertain terms when runner-up at Chepstown on her next run however, even if flattered somewhat by her proximity to the eased-down winner.
She shaped as if still in good form when stepped markedly up in trip back at Hereford last time, and was again spared a hard time having lost her place at a crucial stage following a mistake four out. She stayed on again in the latter stages, though, and is definitely worth another shot at this trip.