Fairly useful on the Flat in Germany, Wild Max has made an excellent start to his career over hurdles, winning a maiden on his debut at Taunton (beating a subsequent winner by two and a quarter lengths), before following up in even more impressive fashion over the same C&D last time.
Admittedly, this represents comfortably the toughest test of his career to date, but the feeling remains that we’ve barely scratched the surface of his potential, and he is fancied to put his speed from the Flat to good use in his hat-trick bid, with this venue often playing to the strengths of such types.
Highland Hunter showed considerable promise in four hurdling starts in 2018/19, winning his first two and shaping as if ahead of his mark when third on his handicap debut. Switched to the yard of champion trainer Paul Nicholls during the summer, he failed to immediately confirm that promise when only eighth on his reappearance at Haydock in November, but there was plenty to like about the way he went through the race before his lack of recent outing began to tell.
There is every chance he will prove a totally different proposition here, especially with the longer trip likely to suit, and it will be disappointing if there aren’t more races to be won with him from this sort of mark.
Broadclyst was disappointing in the first-time cheekpieces at Warwick, but he is clearly better than that, as he showed when second on his penultimate outing at Wincanton, and it would be no surprise to see him bounce back with the headgear left off this time round.
The form of that Wincanton race is certainly working out well, with the winner Worthy Farm following up at the same venue on Thursday, and Broadclyst is only 3 lb higher than when beaten just a neck that day, so there are plenty of reasons to be positive about him at double-figure odds.