MENGLI KHAN (Cheltenham, 1.30) is probably not a bet for the feint-hearted, but last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle-third hasn’t encountered soft ground since chasing home Summerville Boy and it’s worth recalling he was made favourite to beat Le Richebourg at Leopardstown over Christmas.
He was put in his place by the same rival at the Dublin Racing Festival too (Voix Du Reve fell at the last when in contention), again on fast ground, but could be worth chancing at a big price now he steps up in trip.
Mengli Khan 0.5pt ew @ 16-1
Kildisart 0.5pt ew @ 9-1
Connections of FIRST ASSIGNMENT (Cheltenham, 2.10) were probably disappointed when their progressive hurdler was beaten at a short price at Haydock in November, trying to follow up his nine-length Cheltenham defeat of Boyhood a week previous.
Time has told he lost nothing in defeat that day though as Paisley Park and Shades Of Midnight finished narrowly in front of him and the former is short-price for the Stayers’ Hurdle, while Shades Of Midnightlifted a Grade 2 on his next start. First Assignment then followed the path of the last 30 winners by running in this calendar year at Warwick, a trend Sire Du Berlais must overcome.
Both look to offer excellent each-way value in a hugely competitive renewal.
First Assignment 0.5pt ew @ 12-1
Notwhatiam 0.5pt ew @ 12-1
The selection appears better at today’s trip rather than trying to stretch out beyond three miles and, if he can find some rhythm at the head of affairs, he should deliver a big performance judged on his effort here in last year’s RSA Chase when only Presenting Percy was too strong.
Last year’s Arkle Chase winner Footpad moves up in trip which should suit as he hasn’t really fired over two miles with his previously exhilarating jumping looking anything but. This trip could also be a better test for Road To Respect who appeared to not quite get home in the Gold Cup last year.
Monalee 1pt win @ 9-2
Road To Respect 1pt win @ 9-2
Kildisart is part of our Tasty Treble for Thursday.
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