..."I think Epatante is extremely capable"...
He was pretty much a sitting duck against Clan Des Obeaux at Ascot last time but I don’t think he disgraced himself at all and the drop back down in trip will suit here. The going will be testing but he’ll handle it, although Footpad, for the same owners, should be hard to beat but Terrefort has been in good form since Ascot and I’m very happy with him. He should run a good race.
- Top Notch (Daryl Jacob)
We made the decision to switch back to hurdles as Simon and Isaac are well represented in the Ryanair and to be honest I don’t really think Top Notch is quite up to Grade One standard over fences so this race looks a very suitable option. He ran a great race in the Long Walk at Ascot and then won in track record time at Kempton so is bang in form. It’s a competitive race, and many people have been tipping Faugheen in many of the previews I’ve been to, but our horse is in fine form at home and won’t be far away at all.
- Janika (Daryl Jacob)
It’s going to be difficult giving weight all round and that was ultimately what got him beaten here last time, when he was giving the winner 19lbs over course and distance and while he’s conceding weight again (to Siruh Du Lac) it’s not quite as much this time so he is ever so slightly better off, although whether it’s enough to reverse the places I’m not sure. He’ll absolutely love the ground, however, and has been in great form at home.
I’m pretty sure he would have won at Haydock but for falling at the last, which really knocked the stuffing out of him and it’s taken a long time to get him back. He’s absolutely fine now and could still be very exciting over fences with scope for improvement. He should be ok on soft but wouldn’t want it like a bog.
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We deliberately targeted the smaller Mares races, because I didn’t want her to have to carry a penalty here, as this has always been the plan and I really rate her chance. She works like a very smart horse and has won both her starts very impressively. We’re putting a hood on to keep her settled and while this is obviously a big step up in grade, she jumps well and I think she is extremely capable.
- Elusive Belle (Sam Waley-Cohen)
She’s a mare with plenty of ability but can be quite free in her races so we’re putting a hood on in the hope that it will settle her down a bit. This is a good race and ideally she wouldn’t want it too soft but she’s in great form and jumps particularly well so I won’t be at all surprised to see her put up a bold show under Sam Waley-Cohen. There’s still improvement in her.
- Lust For Glory (Nico de Boinville)
There’s nothing between her and Posh Trish on form and she enjoyed a run around Newcastle last month which will have sharpened her up for this. She’s a Point to Point winner who stays well and has a lot of experience so I’m quite hopeful of her running a big race and she won’t be inconvenienced by the ground. I like her.
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