Kashmir Peak, a useful hurdler at his peak, proved consistent in points and made a pleasing start in hunter chases at Warwick last time, travelling fluently and briefly looking to have the measure of Minella Rocco before that strong stayer overhauled him on the run-in.
Minella Rocco – runner-up in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup – has since won at Wetherby, lowering the colours of Hazel Hill, who won the Foxhunter at the Festival last year, so Kashmir Peak’s Warwick form now looks strong.
He has plenty of speed so the slight drop in trip will suit, and he is entitled to have come on fitness-wise for his recent effort. He looks by far the most solid option.
Donatello Mail made no impact over hurdles but the winning pointer proved a different proposition on his handicap/chase debut here over two miles, only going down by a nose.
That was a highly promising effort as he stayed on strongly, suggesting that this step up in trip could unlock further improvement. He has gone up only 1lb, which looks lenient, and it is a positive that his trainer, David Dennis, snapped a long losing run at Chelmsford last week.
Clondaw Westie shaped as if he would be better for the run on his return at Kempton, but he was in the process of running below form when departing at the last at Sandown on his most recent outing.
However, it’s possible that he still needed the run at Sandown and Clondaw Westie, who has won on his third start of the campaign for the last two seasons, should now be operating at peak fitness.
The handicapper has helpfully dropped him another 3lb, leaving him looking fairly treated, and he is expected to give a good account. Troubled Soul has shown admirable consistency and is considered the main danger.