Insignia Of Rank and Run For Oscar are very interesting hurdling newcomers but You Raised Me Up sets quite a high bar for the others to reach. He was a bumper winner and displayed plenty of ability in his four starts over hurdles last season.
He was second here last season over two and a half miles and followed that up with another second at Punchestown over the same trip. On both occasions he didn’t really appear to be overly strong at the finish and that led to him being dropped to two miles for his third hurdles start.
He ran well in fifth that day but that has worked out well with Sempo in third and Cedarwood Road behind in sixth. You Raised Me Up then made his handicap debut at Leopardstown off a mark of 125 in the extremely competitive Ladbrokes Hurdles and ran a cracker when caught near the line to be beaten just over a length in third.
He is now officially rated 130 and if running to that mark back after a break, he will force the hurdling newcomers to hit a very useful level first time out.
This is a useful little novice chase and Western Victory should take a bit of beating if repeating her fine second at Wexford last time out. She was only beaten three lengths by Paloma Blue and the likes of Ornua and Djingle were behind, with Djingle franking that form by winning on Sunday here.
Previous to that, Western Victory had slammed Rapid Response at Roscommon by 13 lengths and it is difficult to see how Rapid Response should reverse the form. A repeat of either of those two runs should be enough for Western Victory to gain her second win over fences.
Internal Transfer looks worth an interest at a big price, with Paddy paying to 6 places.
The very lightly-raced nine year old has only 13 starts under rules and Internal Transfer has run well on all three previous starts at Listowel. He was placed in both hurdles starts at the 2018 festival but improved for going chasing when winning a novice chase at Limerick and following up in a handicap off a mark of 126.
He then ran in this race last year off a mark of 135 and tanked into the lead about six fences from home and looked to have the field in trouble half way down the back straight, so much so that he hit even money in running.
That was only Internal Transfer’s third ever start over fences and in hindsight, perhaps Jonathon Moore could have held onto him a little longer and while he was over eight lengths behind Ravenhill then, he now finds himself 15lbs better off with that rival.
Ravenhill is among the market leaders, while Internal Transfer is among the outsiders and that makes Internal Transfer worth backing each way at a price with 6 places on offer.
There are some nicely-bred newcomers in this 7f Novice Stakes, but they will have to be useful to better the form displayed by Secret Protector on debut earlier this month. He was just a bit green on debut when needing to be pushed along mid race but when the penny dropped, he ran on strongly to finish a never nearer third, only beaten three quarters of a length.
That form is already working out nicely, with the 2nd running a fine second in a decent-looking conditions race at Newbury last weekend. The fourth and sixth fought out the finish to a maiden at Newbury last weekend, while the seventh won at Chelmsford.
Secret Protector should improve plenty for that experience and that should make him quite tough to beat.
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