Hit The Rocks proved better than ever to spring a surprise and get off the mark on the Flat at the eighth time of asking before moving to Gary Moore’s yard for £33,000.
He showed promise on his hurdling debut after four months off when fourth at Plumpton in December, let down late on by some novicey jumping, but did better next time out at the same venue with that run under his belt.
He again showed inexperience in his hurdling, but finished second under a considerate ride and looks open to further improvement. He makes his handicap hurdle debut here and, with Niall Houlihan’s 8lb claim a further positive, he is taken to open his account in this sphere.
A shade underwhelming in bumpers, Cill Anna shaped much more encouragingly sent hurdling, finishing third on her debut at Wincanton in December, and confirmed the promise of that run when getting on top in the final 50 yards to get off the mark at Warwick later that month.
She improved again when defying a penalty back at Wincanton last month, adding to a really positive profile with a ready seven-length victory. She looks to be improving all the time and is a confident selection to land the hat-trick on her first foray into graded company.
After suffering with a reported breathing problem when pulled up at Cheltenham in October, Cobolobo bounced back to get off the mark over fences in fairly smooth style at Haydock, the rider taking a pull after he jumped to the front briefly four out, before going on at the next and drawing clear to eventually win by five lengths.
He wasn’t in the same form when fifth at Newbury last time, but he can be excused that performance as he had to swerve to avoid a faller and almost unseated his rider at the first. He has the blinkers on for the first time here and, if he can recapture the form he showed at Haydock, he could be worth a punt at an enticing price.