This doesn’t look the strongest race of its type and could develop into a match between GOOBINATOR and Neville’s Cross, with preference for the former. Donald McCain’s charge failed to land the odds but was much improved in defeat in a Wetherby juvenile event over Christmas that has worked out and could prove too good with further progress on the cards
MYMILAN was well backed to make a winning chasing debut over two miles here in December, making most of the running and showing a good attitude over a trip which is short of his optimum. He went like the best horse at the weights up at this trip when runner-up at Kelso last time, ultimately outstayed by a stronger rival. The handicapper has raised him 4 lb for that effort but he still looks feasibly treated and is expected to resume winning ways.
This looks a good opportunity for Irish raider LILY’S GEM to open her account over hurdles. The level of her form so far exceeds that of her rivals today and it will be disappointing if she can’t get her head in front in what doesn’t look a strong race.
Dorking Cock was strong in the betting and took advantage of some lenient handicapping when opening his account over fences at Chepstow last month, jumping better than had previously been the case. That wasn’t the strongest race, but neither is this, and there should be more to come from him now he has got his head in front. A subsequent 7 lb rise looks fair and he is the one to beat.
Haul Us In has been hit with a 12 lb rise for her recent Uttoxeter victory, but it’s hard to quibble with the handicapper’s assessment given that she hacked up by 16 lengths. The eight-year-old remains unexposed as a chaser and is taken to follow up here. Next on the list is Longhousesignora, who was a wide-margin winner on her latest start in this sphere. Talkofgold is best of the rest.
Having displayed promise both hurdles starts during the autumn, WINDS OF FIRE makes a quick switch to handicaps and given his useful Flat ability, it’s fair to assume he has more to offer in this sphere. Xpo Universel will doubtless be popular under a penalty following last week’s easy win, with Venegeur de Guye also of interest.
*All prices correct at time of publishing