The eight-year-old had a few tries over hurdles but didn’t look a natural and has returned to the level with a couple of decent runs including a Chelmsford success in the bag before Christmas. He only just held on over two miles that day but didn’t have the same fortune over that trip last time at Lingfield, just 10 days ago. Caught out - as were the rest of the field - he could only stay on very one-paced as Author’s Dream poached an uncatchable lead under a masterful Martin Harley ride.
It’s easy to see why connections tried the hurdling route with options for the gelding limited over two miles plus on the Flat but today’s race gives him an extra two and a half furlongs on a slow-riding surface and that ticks all the boxes. He can outstay the field.
My nap and next best picks run later on the card with MISTER MUSIC (Southwell, nb, 4.00) and ARCHIMEDES (Southwell, nap, 5.00) providing course and distance winning form with top speed figures to boot.
The former took a few years to find the Newark venue but the trip from Worcestershire was worth it 12 days ago as the nine-year-old relished the surface to win going away in a decent time. He could well prove a class above this competitive field.
Archimedes is a dual Fibresand winner, with the latest victory recorded over course and distance at the beginning of the month. Never in the hunt over a furlong further last Tuesday, the gelding returns to his optimum distance and won off this mark under today’s jockey 12 months ago.
Read Sam Turner's tips every day in the Daily Mail or at www.dailymail.co.uk/racing