Sabbathical attracted support and showed improved form when third at Plumpton on his handicap debut, suggesting that he was on a fair mark. He certainly proved that he was well treated at Leicester last time, improving further to make his second handicap start a winning one.
He galloped on in pleasing style in testing conditions to win with plenty in hand, and he holds obvious claims here turned out quickly under a penalty. He is progressing nicely over hurdles and is a confident selection to go in again.
After becoming rather hit and miss over hurdles during the latter half of 2019, Sign of War made a successful debut over fences last month, relishing the emphasis on stamina.
On reflection, it is difficult to believe he has spent most of his hurdling career over much shorter distances given how strong he was at the finish over three miles last time, so tackling an even longer trip here can only be viewed as a positive. He is back over hurdles following his impressive chase victory and is expected to follow up.
Commit or Quit was bought for £60,000 after finishing well clear of the rest of the field when second on his only outing in points in April, and he made an encouraging start under Rules when sixth in a bumper at Ascot in November.
He showed plenty to work with up against some promising types when fourth at Ludlow on his hurdles debut in November, and then took a step forward to finish much closer at Wincanton last month. There ought to be more to come from Charlie Mann’s charge on this quick switch to handicaps and he makes plenty of appeal from a fair opening mark.
The horse to beat is Blue Hussar, who proved better than ever last time to snap a long losing run at Market Rasen and is likely to give another good account.