Home / March 15 / 14:50 Cheltenham

14:50 Cheltenham

Soft

Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race)

  • Prize money: £56270
  • 2m 5f 0y
  • Class 1
  • 28 runners
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Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race)

Runners: 28 runners

Type: Hurdle Turf

Surface: Turf

Weather: Showers

11/1 (Won)

Form: B1-378

Last run: 73 days

W: 11st 4lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 141

Form & Verdict

Beat all bar Galopin Des Champs in the 2021 Martin Pipe at this meeting and brought down early when favourite last year on his second go at that race; won at Aintree last April but remains on a competitive mark and highly likely to stage a return to form; acts on soft, unraced on heavy; player.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3rd

4

11th Apr 2024

Soft

2m 4f 0y

Class 1

15:30 Aintree

Langer Dan

11st 10lb

J: Harry Skelton

T: Dan Skelton

Has peaked to win competitive handicaps at spring festivals in each of the last three seasons, scoring over C&D in 2022 (good to soft) and landing the last two Coral Cups at Cheltenham (2m5f, soft); has something to find with the pick of these now tackling a Grade 1 but he's an each-way possible.

9/1

1st

10

13th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Langer Dan

11st 8lb

J: Harry Skelton

T: Dan Skelton

Won this race (soft) last year off the same mark; he's not shown much this season even by his usual winter standards but ulcers were diagnosed and he's raised his game for the Cheltenham or Aintree festivals in each of the last four seasons; it's hard to say he won't do it again.

8/1

14th

1

13th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 2

14:42 Kempton

Langer Dan

12st 0lb

J: Charlie Todd

T: Dan Skelton

The winner of three major handicap hurdles, most recently last season's Coral Cup off 2lb lower; however, badly out of form this term and needs a big revival.

40/1

Form: 481-00

Last run: 38 days

W: 11st 0lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 137

Form & Verdict

Wide-margin winner at Punchestown (2m3f, heavy) in December 2021 and that's his only foray beyond 2m1f, suiting him extremely well; 338 days off before never figuring in two hot handicaps this winter (50-1 and 80-1); tongue-tie and cheekpieces are both enlisted today; very much catches the eye with this longer trip.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

7th

1

31st Mar 2024

Soft To Heavy

2m 0f 160y

14:55 Cork

An Epic Song

11st 12lb

J: J J Slevin

T: Martin Brassil

Good class hurdler, best effort when touched off in last year's Coral Cup; jumped consistently left on his chase debut at Punchestown in November when last seen; has a clear chance here with better jumping, albeit over a trip short of his best.

7/4

5th

1

25th Nov 2023

Soft To Heavy

2m 2f 200y

12:48 Punchestown

An Epic Song

11st 12lb

J: J J Slevin

T: Martin Brassil

Won a handicap hurdle at this venue; only narrowly denied in last year's Coral Cup before a lesser effort here; interesting runner on chase debut and any further rain would help; off 210 days.

10/1

OUR TIP

Form: 1U4B08 C

Last run: 39 days

W: 11st 1lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 138

Form & Verdict

Fourth in two major handicaps here last term, including this race when soft ground might not have been ideal; won well in a good handicap at Punchestown (2m3f, yielding) next time; failed to shine this winter, chasing initially, but he is 2lb lower than this time last year; headed the recent betting.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

0

1

4th Nov 2023

Soft

1m 7f 152y

Class 2

15:15 Ascot

Camprond

12st 0lb

J: Sean Houlihan

T: Philip Hobbs & Johnson White

in touch with leaders, eased and pulled up after 3rd

20/1

15th

3

14th Apr 2023

Good To Soft

2m 4f 0y

Class 1

14:20 Aintree

Camprond

11st 11lb

J: Aidan Coleman

T: Philip Hobbs & Johnson White

Returned to form with close third of 26 in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham (2m5f, soft) last month, where he was 3l ahead when not fluent at the final flight; close second of 22 at this meeting in 2021 (2m, good to soft) and he's a strong contender despite a 5lb rise since last time.

11/2

3rd

18

15th Mar 2023

Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Camprond

11st 1lb

J: Aidan Coleman

T: Philip Hobbs & Johnson White

Fourth in two major handicaps here last term, including this race when soft ground might not have been ideal; won well in a good handicap at Punchestown (2m3f, yielding) next time; failed to shine this winter, chasing initially, but he is 2lb lower than this time last year; headed the recent betting.

9/1

Form: 311/4- BF

Last run: 326 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 147

Form & Verdict

Useful hurdler two seasons back for Paul Nicholls; still pretty useful on Flat, changing stables after Royal Ascot last year and running respectably in two good Flat handicaps in the autumn; the latter was on heavy going but he's not been seen often on testing ground and peak efforts on no worse than good to soft; second to The Very Man in a charity Flat race last month and this is his first run over hurdles for Willie Mullins.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

13th

12

(10)

31st Jul 2023

Soft

2m 0f 179y

18:40 Galway

Scaramanga

11st 7lb

J: Miss J Townend

T: W P Mullins

Effectively campaigned, espacially over hurdles; fourth in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham before travelling to America to land the Grade 1 Iroquois Hurdle in May; should be effective off this mark and an intriguing runner here.

10/1

4th

4

15th Mar 2023

Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Scaramanga

11st 10lb

J: Jack Foley

T: W P Mullins

Useful hurdler two seasons back for Paul Nicholls; still pretty useful on Flat, changing stables after Royal Ascot last year and running respectably in two good Flat handicaps in the autumn; the latter was on heavy going but he's not been seen often on testing ground and peak efforts on no worse than good to soft; second to The Very Man in a charity Flat race last month and this is his first run over hurdles for Willie Mullins.

66/1

2nd

11

19th Feb 2023

Yielding To Soft

2m 0f 0y

16:55 Punchestown

Scaramanga

12st 0lb

J: Janna Walsh

T: W P Mullins

Yet to score for Willie Mullins but solid efforts last autumn in two big handicaps

2/1

Form: P-P112 D BF

Last run: 25 days

W: 11st 3lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 140

Form & Verdict

Won on soft last winter; also took his first two starts after joining Nicky Henderson, making all in good style in 2m4f handicap chases this winter; tired when 4-9 favourite in three-runner 3m Grade 2 novice chase at Ascot latest but he was niggled at some way out too, so 3m probably not solely to blame; chase mark is 5lb higher, so he's interesting on form if back on song returned to hurdling in first-time cheekpieces.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

11th

2

13th Apr 2024

Soft

3m 0f 149y

Class 1

13:20 Aintree

Bold Endeavour

11st 12lb

J: Nico de Boinville

T: Nicky Henderson

Has a good record in big-field handicaps and was one of the few Henderson-trained runners to perform with credit at the Cheltenham Festival when fourth to Monmiral in the Pertemps Final (3m, soft) four weeks ago; could make the frame again but others appeal more for win purposes.

22/1

4th

5

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 7f 213y

Class 1

14:10 Cheltenham

Bold Endeavour

11st 3lb

J: Daryl Jacob

T: Nicky Henderson

Fifth in the Coral Cup here one year ago in first-time cheekpieces (kept since); best effort this term when good second of ten under 5lb claimer over C&D (soft) on penultimate start, but the winner White Rhino made the better impression in staying on more strongly.

40/1

6th

1

21st Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 7f 0y

Class 2

14:25 Lingfield

Bold Endeavour

12st 0lb

J: Nico de Boinville

T: Nicky Henderson

Handicapped to the hilt and 5lb claimer Freddie Gordon was employed when he finished runner-up in a 3m handicap at Cheltenham last month (soft); now 2lb higher and without that claim, he'll do well to win.

5/1

Form: 3F-232 D

Last run: 74 days

W: 11st 6lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 143

Form & Verdict

Travelled best when third of 15 in 3m Pertemps qualifier at Punchestown (yielding) on penultimate outing; dropped back to an extended 2m3f there (soft to heavy) latest and did very well in second of 19, making major inroads against San Salvador who had gone well beyond recall; looks set for a big run.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3rd

1

12th Dec 2023

Heavy

2m 0f 43y

12:00 Punchestown

Captain Conby

11st 9lb

J: Keith Donoghue

T: E Sheehy

jumped left on occasions, led, faced challenge when jumped left and bumped rival 2 out, soon headed and weakened, no match for first two

4/1

3rd

1

11th Nov 2023

Soft

2m 4f 35y

Class 1

13:50 Wincanton

Captain Conby

11st 4lb

J: Tom Bellamy

T: E Sheehy

took keen hold, midfield, awkward jump 4th, headway before 4 out, weakened after 3 out

4/1

2nd

2

1st Oct 2023

Soft

2m 4f 20y

17:00 Tipperary

Captain Conby

11st 1lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: E Sheehy

disputed lead, led narrowly 3rd, headed and lost two places 4th, lost ground before 4 out, mistake 3 out, kept on and went modest second run-in, no match for winner

7/2

Form: 216-16 C

Last run: 116 days

W: 11st 6lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 143

Form & Verdict

Favourite for this race last year when he failed to get in as the first reserve; clearcut win at Carlisle (2m4f, heavy) in October ensured that he's safely in this time; raced too freely and tired badly when he tried 3m off this 6lb higher mark at Haydock in November latest; tongue tied for those last two starts; this drop back in trip will help and although he needs to resume improvement, that may be possible given he's had only ten races.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

4th

4

27th Dec 2023

Good To Soft

2m 3f 98y

Class 2

13:05 Chepstow

Good Risk At All

10st 7lb

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

T: Sam Thomas

didn't jump with fluency, pressed leaders, awkward jump 2nd, reminders after 8th, soon detached, weakened after 5 out, tailed off

13/8

3rd

4

18th Nov 2023

Good To Soft

3m 0f 110y

Class 1

13:45 Cheltenham

Good Risk At All

11st 4lb

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

T: Sam Thomas

Record of 2-9 over hurdles and was found wanting in two ultra-competitive handicaps at last season's big spring festivals; however, he surpassed all previous RPRs when doing everything right and comfortably accounting for Alaphilippe on recent chase debut at Carlisle (2m4f, soft); it's not a given that he'll stay 3m, but fair chance if he does.

7/4

1st

4

26th Oct 2023

Good To Soft

2m 4f 0y

Class 3

15:55 Carlisle

Good Risk At All

11st 2lb

J: Charlie Deutsch

T: Sam Thomas

Reappeared with a convincing handicap hurdle win here (2m4f, heavy) last October; didn't threaten in hot handicap hurdles at the Cheltenham (2m5f, soft) and Aintree (2m4f, good to soft) festivals but those weren't bad performances and he's entitled to respect on this chase/seasonal debut.

5/2

Form: 4-246F

Last run: 11 days

W: 10st 12lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 135

Form & Verdict

Grade 2 novice win at Kelso (2m2f, soft) last March; wore cheekpieces on last two starts when respectable sixth of 15 here (2m1f, soft) in January and a faller three out when in serious contention at Kelso (2m5f) 11 days ago, with wind surgery in between; might be capable of better but needs to be.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

1st

1

10th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 1f 14y

Class 3

14:10 Kelso

Nells Son

11st 10lb

J: Danny McMenamin

T: Nicky Richards

Got off the mark over fences at Carlisle (2m) in October and he comes here on the back of a good second in 2m5f handicap here 23 days ago; he can't be discounted back in trip now.

6/4

2nd

3

16th Feb 2024

Soft

2m 5f 133y

Class 2

15:25 Kelso

Nells Son

11st 2lb

J: Danny McMenamin

T: Nicky Richards

raced in third, outpaced and lost position after 3 out, rallying when left in third 2 out, went second before last, no impression run-in

100/30

4th

7

27th Jan 2024

Good

2m 0f 78y

Class 2

11:50 Doncaster

Nells Son

11st 1lb

J: Danny McMenamin

T: Nicky Richards

Opened chasing account at third attempt, with clearcut success at Carlisle (2m, soft) in October; contender if judged on that performance but was disappointing odds-on favourite on heavy ground the following month and is not sure to be seen to best effect on the quicker surface here.

9/1

Form: 3-2FP7

Last run: 31 days

W: 11st 7lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 144

Form & Verdict

Disappointing when 6-1 favourite and 12-1 in last two renewals of this race; no ground worries but he has not shone this term (over fences initially) and his last win was in December 2020, so he's not the percentage call.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

10

11th Apr 2024

Heavy

2m 5f 19y

Class 2

16:05 Aintree

Grand Roi

12st 0lb

J: Mr Tommie M O’Brien

T: Mrs J Owen

Only an 8yo but his rating has capitulated during the last two years and his recent form is nowhere near good enough for a test of this magnitude.

100/1

4

19th Mar 2024

Soft

3m 0f 54y

Class 5

16:30 Exeter

Grand Roi

11st 12lb

J: Mr Alex Chadwick

T: Mrs J Owen

Grade 2 hurdle winner in 2020 and bits of form in better races than this in recent times; out of sorts in the autumn but he might well have pegged back Forest Chimes at Stratford (2m5f, heavy) last week with a better jump at the last; this stiffer test can suit; can go well.

5/2

2nd

5

11th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 205y

Class 5

16:20 Stratford

Grand Roi

11st 12lb

J: Mr Alex Chadwick

T: Mrs J Owen

midfield

11/4

Form: 114-80 D

Last run: 74 days

W: 10st 12lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 135

Form & Verdict

Three hurdle wins in 2021 as a novice, in 2m5f Listed race at Limerick (soft) on third occasion, and creditable fourth in Grade 2 novice over C&D that November; not seen again until well beaten in two warm handicaps in December (18-1 and 16-1) but he showed that some ability remains on first occasion and he's not written off yet.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

18th

22

14th Apr 2023

Good To Soft

2m 4f 0y

Class 1

14:20 Aintree

Off Your Rocco

11st 0lb

J: Kieren Buckley

T: Gordon Elliott

Has returned from an absence this season and failed to threaten, finishing tenth in the Coral Cup last month; however, his top Irish yard has a good record in this race and he may yet have a bigger run in him, having been a Listed novice hurdle winner in October 2021.

25/1

10th

25

15th Mar 2023

Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Off Your Rocco

10st 12lb

J: Sam Ewing

T: Gordon Elliott

Three hurdle wins in 2021 as a novice, in 2m5f Listed race at Limerick (soft) on third occasion, and creditable fourth in Grade 2 novice over C&D that November; not seen again until well beaten in two warm handicaps in December (18-1 and 16-1) but he showed that some ability remains on first occasion and he's not written off yet.

66/1

12th

4

31st Dec 2022

Soft

2m 3f 120y

14:32 Punchestown

Off Your Rocco

11st 5lb

J: Jordan Gainford

T: Gordon Elliott

The last of his three hurdle wins came in a Limerick Listed race in October 2021; only midfield in a Fairyhouse handicap a month ago but that was after a year out, so should improve.

25/1

Form: 117-33

Last run: 74 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 147

Form & Verdict

Usually held up; made a big splash on the Flat last term, notably winning the Cesarewitch at Newmarket (2m2f, good); back hurdling for good third at Haydock (3m, soft) and not discredited on soft to heavy in December, but it could be that a return to better ground would help; tried cheekpieces (return today) and visor in 2021 but no headgear last year; high-profile candidate.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2nd

2

10th Oct 2023

Yielding

2m 2f 0y

15:00 Punchestown

Run For Oscar

11st 2lb

J: Philip Byrnes

T: C Byrnes

disputed lead, not fluent and raced in second 3rd, led before 4th, joined after 3 out, headed after last, soon no extra

5/4

4th

4

(8)

22nd Jul 2023

Yielding To Soft

1m 6f 0y

16:20 Curragh

Run For Oscar

9st 11lb

J: Colin Keane

T: C Byrnes

Cesarewitch winner who hit the frame in the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot last month; however, would need to take his form to a new level to win this and seems pretty exposed at this point.

22/1

3rd

7

(4)

24th Jun 2023

Good To Firm

2m 5f 143y

Class 2

18:10 Ascot

Run For Oscar

9st 4lb

J: Jim Crowley

T: C Byrnes

towards rear on inner, going easily when not clear run over 2f out, ridden and squeezed through against far rail over 1f out, went third inside final 110yds, stayed on

7/2

Form: -P5P43 D

Last run: 31 days

W: 11st 10lb

9 yo Gelding

OR: 147

Form & Verdict

Often seen in Grade 1 races, including fourth in the Stayers' Hurdle here in 2021 when he travelled well but was seemingly outstayed; won a Grade 1 novice chase in Ireland last term; more miss than hit last year but this is his first handicap and last month's third in Grade 2 hurdle at Navan (2m5f) puts him back into calculations; wears a first-time tongue-tie.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

6th

1

11th Apr 2024

Soft

2m 4f 0y

Class 1

15:30 Aintree

Beacon Edge

11st 10lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

Finished fourth in the 2021 Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham; he ran well for a long way when ninth to Langer Dan in last month's Coral Cup but this 10yo is not the force of old and would be a shock winner today.

66/1

9th

4

13th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Beacon Edge

11st 12lb

J: Danny Gilligan

T: Gordon Elliott

Acts on heavy; smart performer for Noel Meade in 2021, fourth here in the Grade 1 Stayers'; more miss than hit since and last year's Coral Cup saw one of his lesser efforts; his better shows last term give him a shout but while plenty of ability remains this term for new yard, judged on those the handicapper has not shown him enough leniency.

40/1

Form: 18-012 D

Last run: 60 days

W: 11st 10lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 147

Form & Verdict

Inconsistent previously but he's run well on both starts this winter, winning at Newbury (2m4f, good) and short-headed when 25-1 under 7lb claimer in the Lanzarote at Kempton (2m5f, soft); raised another 5lb to career-high mark but not entirely ruled out.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

13th

1

13th Apr 2024

Soft

3m 0f 149y

Class 1

13:20 Aintree

Red Risk

12st 0lb

J: Freddie Gingell

T: Paul Nicholls

Returned from a break with good second in Grade 2 at Wetherby (3m, soft) in November but down the field twice since; runs in a handicap for first time since well held in the 2023 Pertemps; first headgear needs to make a difference.

25/1

4th

4

17th Feb 2024

Heavy

3m 0f 58y

Class 1

14:40 Haydock

Red Risk

11st 2lb

J: Bryony Frost

T: Paul Nicholls

in touch with leaders

3/1

8th

8

23rd Dec 2023

Good To Soft

3m 0f 97y

Class 1

14:25 Ascot

Red Risk

11st 7lb

J: Bryony Frost

T: Paul Nicholls

Better known as a handicapper and closely matched with West Balboa on their close encounter in last season's Lanzarote Hurdle; again just missed out behind Botox Has (conceding 4lb) on only his second attempt at 3m in a Grade 2 at Wetherby and he saw out the trip fine; isn't weighted to reverse those placings and there are others to worry about.

25/1

Form: 14-331

Last run: 53 days

W: 11st 6lb

5 yo Colt

OR: 143

Form & Verdict

Fourth in the 4yo handicap at this meeting last year; major improvement when upped to 2m4f at Navan (soft) on latest start, seeing it out very well to emerge on top late on; up the weights but should have more to offer at this sort of trip and represents a trainer whose Festival runners need lots of respect.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

4

19th Oct 2023

Yielding

2m 7f 0y

16:00 Thurles

HMS Seahorse

11st 0lb

J: Conor Smithers

T: Paul Nolan

All three wins have been on soft ground, including 2m4f Navan handicap last term; bit outclassed final start when fair fourth in Grade 2 at Fairyhouse over Easter; not sure this longer trip will suit.

11/2

17th

14

(29)

24th Sep 2023

Yielding To Soft

2m 0f 165y

16:10 Curragh

HMS Seahorse

9st 9lb

J: Scott McCullagh

T: Paul Nolan

towards rear of midfield

22/1

4th

1

(4)

31st Jul 2023

Soft

2m 0f 179y

18:40 Galway

HMS Seahorse

12st 2lb

J: Mr E P O’Brien

T: Paul Nolan

Not the biggest but a talented individual under both codes; bolted up in a 1m3f premier handicap at the Curragh last year; decent second to the 100-rated Taipan in a Killarney conditions in May; did disappoint when odds-on for the maiden hurdle on this card last year.

16/1

Form: 4PF515

Last run: 78 days

W: 11st 5lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 142

Form & Verdict

Mixed record in light career but some of that was over fences and he made a successful return to hurdling by short head in 18-runner handicap at Naas (2m4f, yielding to soft) in November; wore cheekpieces that day and also when fair fifth at Leopardstown (2m) at Christmas, again making the running; back up in trip and needs a second look.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

9th

9

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

16:10 Cheltenham

Watch House Cross

11st 3lb

J: Darragh O’Keeffe

T: Henry De Bromhead

Faded in the 2m5f Coral Cup last March; won small-field novice chases at Wexford (2m, yielding; 2m4f, good to yielding) later but has found 3m on testing ground beyond him in competitive handicaps since; the return to 2m4f should suit but he needs to put a subsequent early fall behind him.

25/1

14

4th Feb 2024

Yielding To Soft

2m 5f 107y

15:20 Leopardstown

Watch House Cross

10st 4lb

J: Darragh O’Keeffe

T: Henry De Bromhead

Won a couple of chases at Wexford last summer; well beaten in the Paddy Power but ran okay previously in the Troytown despite some sketchy jumping; not a forlorn hope.

20/1

11th

16

27th Dec 2023

Yielding

3m 0f 100y

15:00 Leopardstown

Watch House Cross

11st 3lb

J: Darragh O’Keeffe

T: Henry De Bromhead

midfield, brief headway 2 out (usual 3 out), weakened home turn

20/1

Form: 0-0039

Last run: 39 days

W: 11st 2lb

9 yo Gelding

OR: 139

Form & Verdict

More miss than hit in good handicap hurdles, admittedly hampered when 66-1 in the Martin Pipe here one year ago; probably stretched by 3m on latest hurdles start but won a charity Flat race (from Scaramanga) later in February; more exposed than most and needs to be at his peak.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

17th

2

3rd Feb 2024

Soft

3m 0f 104y

15:00 Leopardstown

The Very Man

11st 12lb

J: Keith Donoghue

T: Mrs John Harrington

Won the stayers' contest at the Shergar Cup meeting on the Flat last year before lesser efforts in both the Irish and Newmarket Cesarewitch; ran well when last seen over timber at the Punchestown festival, finishing runner-up to the well treated Seddon; while he's a point winner, he hasn't shown much over this sort of trip under rules and was ninth in this race off the same mark last season.

40/1

0

7

(33)

14th Oct 2023

Good To Soft

2m 2f 0y

Class 2

14:40 Newmarket

The Very Man

9st 7lb

J: Kevin Stott

T: Mrs John Harrington

Made up a lot of ground when close second of 20 at Galway (2m1f, heavy) in July and came from last to first in authoritative style at Ascot's Shergar Cup (2m, good to soft); form dipped when seventh in the Irish Cesarewitch and to win this demands a career best but the test may well suit him.

28/1

Form: 143-30

Last run: 32 days

W: 11st 8lb

5 yo Gelding

OR: 145

Form & Verdict

Creditable fourth in 2022 Triumph Hurdle here; flopped in two of three starts since (latest was the Betfair at Newbury) but his third of 17 in good handicap at Fairyhouse (2m, soft; travelled smoothly until after two out, kept on) in December ensures he's not ruled out; upped markedly in trip.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2

12th Apr 2024

Soft

2m 4f 0y

Class 1

14:20 Aintree

Icare Allen

11st 11lb

J: Richie McLernon

T: Jonjo O’Neill

Had work to do when making bad mistake two out in last month's Pertemps Final at Cheltenham (3m, soft; pulled up); however, that was his first run since November, when a near-9l third here (3m, soft) having travelled well; could be suited by the drop back in trip on yard debut (has left Willie Mullins; still owned by JP McManus); each-way possibilities in first-time hood.

33/1

7

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 7f 213y

Class 1

14:10 Cheltenham

Icare Allen

11st 2lb

J: Mark Walsh

T: W P Mullins

Fourth here in the 2022 Triumph but no show in 2023 Coral Cup; made the frame twice at the Galway Festival last August; rarely seen beyond 2m1f but the second Galway run was 2m6f on soft and he was a respectable third off this mark when upped to 3m1f on soft at Aintree in November; not seen since and others have done more at this trip, but he can't be comfortably ruled out.

9/1

3rd

1

11th Nov 2023

Soft

3m 0f 149y

Class 2

13:35 Aintree

Icare Allen

12st 0lb

J: Jonjo O’Neill Jr

T: W P Mullins

Made the frame twice at the Galway Festival early in August; all but two of his races have been at up to 2m1f but the second Galway run was 2m6f on soft; also ran creditably back at 2m on latest start; 3m is unknown territory and he's unraced on heavy but this race is also a marked drop in class.

4/1

Form: 314316

Last run: 38 days

W: 11st 0lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 137

Form & Verdict

33-1 (Triumph) and 28-1 (County) when well held at this meeting in the last two seasons, falling at the final flight in the latter; his two wins over hurdles since were in non-handicaps and although he's also shown up in two warm handicaps over 2m, including latest start, he needs to find extra; the marked step up in trip is not sure to help.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

6th

6

3rd Aug 2023

Yielding

2m 2f 54y

14:45 Galway

Tax For Max

11st 1lb

J: Paul Townend

T: W P Mullins

Did enough to win on his chase debut at Wexford in June; close second in a QR Flat race at Leopardstown last month; needs plenty more here to unseat his stable companion.

10/1

2nd

5

(8)

13th Jul 2023

Good

1m 7f 0y

20:30 Leopardstown

Tax For Max

11st 5lb

J: Mr P W Mullins

T: W P Mullins

held up in rear, headway from over 3f out, pushed along over 2f out, ridden and ran on well from over 1f out, went second but no extra inside final 110yds

11/4

1st

4

20th Jun 2023

Good

2m 0f 0y

15:22 Wexford

Tax For Max

11st 12lb

J: Kieran Callaghan

T: W P Mullins

prominent, led after 5th, hit 2 out, soon shaken up, ridden and edged right run-in, kept on

10/11

12/1

Form: 221351

Last run: 25 days

W: 12st 0lb

5 yo Gelding

OR: 151

Form & Verdict

Runner-up to Vauban in three Grade 1s as juvenile, including the Triumph here; kept to about 2m this winter, including for wins in a beginners' chase and last month in a Grade 3 when back over hurdles; style of racing and some stamina in the family help to make this new trip an interesting move.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3rd

6

1st Apr 2024

Heavy

2m 3f 160y

16:20 Fairyhouse

Fil Dor

11st 4lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

held up in rear, headway 3 out, went third but no extra from 2 out, no match for first two

9/2

7th

6

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Fil Dor

11st 10lb

J: Keith Donoghue

T: Gordon Elliott

Versatile ground-wise; creditable second behind highly notable rivals at Naas (Grade 3) and Cork (Grade 2) since returned to chasing; filled same position in the Triumph Hurdle here two years ago; campaigned mostly at about 2m but pedigree suggests this return to 2m4f is well worth exploring and, being the youngest horse in the field, he has the potential to rate higher still; interesting contender.

16/1

2nd

3

10th Dec 2023

Soft

2m 0f 160y

14:15 Cork

Fil Dor

11st 4lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

Smart juvenile hurdler two seasons ago; after winning his first start over fences, was well beaten in a couple of Grade 1s, including a remote fifth behind El Fabiolo at Leopardstown; sent back over hurdles and won a Grade 3 event at Gowran; made a race of it with EL Fabiolo's stablemate Dinoblue in a Grade 3 chase at Naas four weeks ago.

7/1

Form: 3-1252 C

Last run: 39 days

W: 11st 9lb

10 yo Gelding

OR: 146

Form & Verdict

Kempton (2m5f) in November saw his only win in the last three and a bit years but he was unlucky next time (2m7f, soft); back on song when second at Sandown latest; concerns are that he pulled up in this race last year and underperformed here on penultimate start, while a big show in this race would require his best form in nearly two years.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

6th

1

7th Jan 2024

Soft

3m 0f 217y

Class 2

14:15 Plumpton

Call Me Lord

12st 0lb

J: Ben Bromley

T: Nicky Henderson

Dual Grade 2 hurdle winner in his prime and still performing at a pretty high level, most recently when keeping on stoutly from an unpromising position to lead on run-in at Hereford (2m3f, good) three weeks ago; that form is treated with a degree of caution but he's only 1lb higher here and looks well worth another crack at a staying trip.

7/1

1st

1

16th Dec 2023

Good

2m 3f 147y

Class 2

13:35 Hereford

Call Me Lord

12st 0lb

J: Daryl Jacob

T: Nicky Henderson

Dual Grade 2 hurdle winner in his prime and still performing at a pretty high level last season, most notably when second off today's mark in valuable Sandown handicap (2m7f, good to soft) in February; today's trip/ground combination should also suit; contender if fully tuned up after break.

7/2

5th

3

29th Apr 2023

Good

2m 5f 110y

Class 1

16:00 Sandown

Call Me Lord

11st 4lb

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

T: Nicky Henderson

Won this race in 2018 and has posted some good efforts in competitive handicaps this season, winning at Kempton (2m5f, good) and twice second over 2m7f here (soft/good to soft); struggled at Cheltenham last month and is not as good as he was, but it won't be a surprise if he gives a good account.

10/1

Form: 1-4P05 C

Last run: 11 days

W: 12st 0lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 151

Form & Verdict

Won two handicap hurdles (3m/3m1f) last season, the first at this track and the second off today's mark; failed to shine this term in a Grade 2 hurdle race and three handicap chases, having a wind operation before penultimate start and trying blinkers (now discarded) on latest; no ground worries but unraced over this short for over two years and he's unreliable.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

7th

2

20th May 2023

Good

2m 7f 70y

Class 2

19:05 Uttoxeter

Sporting John

11st 13lb

J: Aidan Coleman

T: Philip Hobbs & Johnson White

in touch with leaders, headway after 8th, ridden after 3 out, weakened after 2 out

12/1

8th

4

1st May 2023

Good

3m 0f 0y

Class 3

15:40 Kempton

Sporting John

11st 9lb

J: Aidan Coleman

T: Philip Hobbs & Johnson White

Grade 1 novices' chase winner in his prime; no trip/ground issues, but 21lb descent since pulling up in the Rowland Meyrick says plenty about a pretty poor 2022-23 season, including dropped to Class 3 latest.

14/1

4th

2

10th Apr 2023

Good To Soft

2m 7f 131y

Class 3

14:35 Chepstow

Sporting John

11st 10lb

J: Aidan Coleman

T: Philip Hobbs & Johnson White

Smart in his prime but has become disappointing this season; will find this much easier than Cheltenham Festival handicap hurdle he contested last month but he was never competitive there and now switches back to chasing with some questions to answer.

12/1

Form: -22211

Last run: 11 days

W: 11st 2lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 134

Form & Verdict

Acts on heavy; runner-up on first three starts for new yard before cheekpieces were restored for wins at Musselburgh (2m4f, soft; easily made all) and Kelso (2m, good to soft; came from well off the pace); the latter was a very warm handicap 11 days ago and, although he now has 5lb penalty for career-high mark, it looks as if he's never been better.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

17th

15

13th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

Benson

11st 6lb

J: Ryan Mania

T: Sandy Thomson

Made all at Musselburgh (2m4f, soft) on New Year's Day 2023 and 2024; last season he then came from the rear to win the Morebattle at Kelso (2m, good to soft) but he pulled up in this race next time and never got out of the rear division in the Morebattle 11 days ago; has a fair bit to prove now, especially given need for a career best; tongue-tie (last worn in 2022) returns.

66/1

15th

1

2nd Mar 2024

Good To Soft

2m 0f 51y

Class 2

14:50 Kelso

Benson

12st 0lb

J: Ryan Mania

T: Sandy Thomson

Came from the rear of the field to win this last year (good to soft); made all in the Hogmaneigh Hurdle at Musselburgh (2m4f, soft) on New Year's Day for the second season running and creditable fourth there (1m7f, good to soft) last time when caught out for pace at that sharp track; on the shortlist.

10/1

4th

1

3rd Feb 2024

Good To Soft

1m 7f 124y

Class 2

14:50 Musselburgh

Benson

12st 0lb

J: Lewis Dobb

T: Sandy Thomson

Won a 2m4f handicap here on New Year's Day for the second year running (Afadil third); 3lb rise sees him return to a career-high mark but Lewis Dobb's claim takes away 7lb this time and he's just as effective at 2m; hard to leave out of calculations.

4/1

Form: F6-021

Last run: 74 days

W: 11st 1lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 138

Form & Verdict

Second to Riaan at Cork (2m4f, soft) in November, no threat to the winner but running on despite a blunder two out and being untidy at the last; no such errors at Punchestown (extended 2m3f, soft to heavy) in December latest, always close up, going on two out and threatening to turn 19-runner race into a procession before Captain Conby closed late on; style of that win has to put him on the shortlist.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

4th

7

25th May 2023

Good

2m 6f 160y

18:30 Limerick

San Salvador

11st 12lb

J: J J Slevin

T: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

A 134-rated hurdler; emphatic winner off 124 at Punchestown last December on his fourth and final run in 2022; no obvious reason why he flopped when 12-1 chance in Coral Cup; has had time to recover and should make an effective chaser; stays well but not short of speed as he showed when second in a 1m4f maiden last year.

11/4

19

15th Mar 2023

Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 1

14:50 Cheltenham

San Salvador

11st 1lb

J: Richard Deegan

T: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

Second to Riaan at Cork (2m4f, soft) in November, no threat to the winner but running on despite a blunder two out and being untidy at the last; no such errors at Punchestown (extended 2m3f, soft to heavy) in December latest, always close up, going on two out and threatening to turn 19-runner race into a procession before Captain Conby closed late on; style of that win has to put him on the shortlist.

16/1

1st

9

31st Dec 2022

Soft

2m 3f 120y

14:32 Punchestown

San Salvador

10st 10lb

J: J J Slevin

T: Joseph Patrick O’Brien

Bumper and 2m4f maiden hurdle winner last season; only 2lb higher than when second to Riaan at Cork (2m4f, soft) and, while a lack of pace in that race casts some doubt over the form, he's clearly up to winning races off this mark.

13/2

Form: -42111 D

Last run: 20 days

W: 11st 0lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 137

Form & Verdict

Kicked off 2023 winning at Punchestown in a 2m maiden (heavy) and 2m4f novice (soft); justified 5-6 favouritism in Grade 3 novice at Thurles (extended 2m4f, good) three weeks ago, doing it very narrowly but he's promising as well as inexperienced and needs plenty of respect on this handicap debut.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

4th

5

13th Mar 2024

Soft

1m 7f 199y

Class 1

16:50 Cheltenham

Sa Fureur

11st 3lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

Bombed out when favourite for last season's Coral Cup here but quickly back on track switched to fences this term, taking advantage of Hunter's Yarn's last-fence fall (5l down at time) to win a 2m Fairyhouse beginners' chase in December then good second to Quilixios in a Naas novice (2m, soft); a potential improver on this handicap chase debut and high on the shortlist.

7/1

2nd

4

12th Jan 2024

Soft

2m 0f 0y

12:42 Naas

Sa Fureur

11st 8lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

prominent, went second from 5th, challenging towards near side before 2 out, ridden after 2 out, kept on but no match for winner

13/2

Form: 225101

Last run: 34 days

W: 10st 12lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 135

Form & Verdict

Something wrong behind San Salvador at Punchestown (soft to heavy) on New Year's Eve, which included some jumping mistakes; stacks of promise when he won handicap debut from that rival the time before (2m4f, soft) and he scored again in a novice at Thurles (made most) on latest start; not the finished article in those starts but there's plenty of ability in there.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

8

14th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 127y

Class 1

16:10 Cheltenham

Riaan

11st 4lb

J: Danny Gilligan

T: Gordon Elliott

Pulled up in the Coral Cup last March (40-1); has taken well to fences, making most on first run and running well for a long way when second of 25 at Leopardstown (2m5f, yielding to soft) last month to one on a good mark; others have achieved more but he's still near the start of his career.

16/1

2nd

15

4th Feb 2024

Yielding To Soft

2m 5f 107y

15:20 Leopardstown

Riaan

10st 2lb

J: Danny Gilligan

T: Gordon Elliott

Still unexposed over fences; only a couple of lengths behind Percy Warner over this trip at Cork in November when last seen; could still have enough potential progression to run well here.

20/1

Form: 4-1633 D

Last run: 26 days

W: 10st 11lb

9 yo Gelding

OR: 134

Form & Verdict

Better form as a chaser, including in useful handicap at Doncaster (good; acts on heavy) when upped to 3m on penultimate start; back hurdling today (first time since last March) and his chase mark is 4lb higher, with some hurdles form also reading well, but he's comparatively exposed.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2

7th Apr 2024

Heavy

3m 0f 110y

Class 2

16:32 Carlisle

Elvis Mail

11st 7lb

J: Bruce Lynn

T: N W Alexander

Won off this mark at Kelso (3m2f, soft) last October and ran okay when a Listed third there on his latest chase start; excused subsequent below-par run over hurdles (chasing is his game nowadays); Kelso brings out the best in him but he's also run well here and could have a part to play.

4/1

7th

2

16th Mar 2024

Heavy

2m 7f 70y

Class 2

14:25 Uttoxeter

Elvis Mail

11st 13lb

J: Bruce Lynn

T: N W Alexander

Unseated at the first hurdle of last season's Coral Cup at Cheltenham on his only run over hurdles in the last two years; has won four times in this discipline but better known as a chaser, winning over 3m2f at Kelso in October and his latest run at Listed level wasn't too shoddy; rated 6lb lower hurdling and trip/ground will be fine.

25/1

Form: -22111 D

Last run: 25 days

W: 10st 11lb

5 yo Gelding

OR: 134

Form & Verdict

5-10 as hurdler; form figures of 2111 since last summer's wind surgery and those wins (2m3f-2m4f, good/good to soft) at Taunton, Fakenham and Ascot were all gained with authority; last ran on soft last March (runner-up) and has left that form way behind; progressive, though, and can go well if he acts on the ground; first reserve.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3rd

6

16th Mar 2024

Good To Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 2

14:10 Kempton

Irish Hill

10st 10lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

Won three in a row last season (2m3f/2m4f, good/good to soft); 0-7 and mixed form since but he took a step back in the right direction when fifth of 16 at Ascot (2m3f, good to soft) last month and may build on that.

4/1

5th

12

17th Feb 2024

Good To Soft

2m 3f 58y

Class 2

14:25 Ascot

Irish Hill

10st 7lb

J: Freddie Gingell

T: Paul Nicholls

Was on the crest of a wave when completing a hat-trick in this race (good to soft) 12 months ago off a 3lb higher mark than today's; hit and miss since but he was far from disgraced when ninth behind Jay Jay Reilly in the Lanzarote at Kempton five weeks ago, fading after having a clear lead turning for home; Freddie Gingell claims a handy 5lb; must be considered.

8/1

9th

13

13th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 2

14:42 Kempton

Irish Hill

10st 12lb

J: Bryony Frost

T: Paul Nicholls

Stablemate of Sonigino; ran respectably in first-time blinkers at Newbury (2m4f) two weeks ago, albeit no match for the winner; faces a harder task off same mark in this deeper race.

18/1

Form: 1-134P D

Last run: 60 days

W: 10st 9lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 132

Form & Verdict

Solid record in handicaps over 2m/2m4f this term until he was pulled up in the Lanzarote at Kempton (2m5f, soft) two months ago; needs to bounce back with a major career best.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

5

16th Mar 2024

Good To Soft

2m 5f 0y

Class 2

14:10 Kempton

Harbour Lake

11st 0lb

J: Tom Cannon

T: Alan King

Hasn't taken to fences on his two starts this season; there's a question mark regarding current form but he's 4lb lower than when a solid fifth of 20 at Aintree (2m4f, good to soft) last April and could be involved.

8/1

5th

4

29th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 4f 194y

Class 3

15:30 Hereford

Harbour Lake

11st 6lb

J: Tom Cannon

T: Alan King

Useful form in competitive handicaps to go with four hurdle wins at 2m-2m4f but he made a tentative start to chase career when pulled up at Aintree last month; aptitude for fences to prove at this early stage.

11/2

0

3

26th Dec 2023

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 3

14:50 Aintree

Harbour Lake

11st 4lb

J: Tom Cannon

T: Alan King

didn't jump with fluency, held up in last, not fluent 2nd, awkward jump 9th, pushed along 4 out, no chance before 2 out, pulled up before last

4/1

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Payout
Straight Forecast £1413.10
Tricast £28932.80

Selections

SPOTLIGHT:

Captain Conby

Daily Mirror:

HMS Seahorse

The Times:

San Salvador

The Star:

Riaan

Telegraph:

Icare Allen

The Sun:

Fil Dor

Daily Mail:

Good Risk At All

LAMBOURN:

Bold Endeavour

RP Ratings:

Langer Dan

WEST COUNTRY:

Camprond

POSTDATA:

Red Risk

TOPSPEED:

Call Me Lord

D Express:

Captain Conby

Daily Record:

HMS Seahorse

The Guardian:

San Salvador