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.
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