OLD favourite Vic is not to be sniffed at in this marathon chase.
VICENTE will love the decent ground and he stays this 3m3f trip really well as he showed when winning the Scottish National twice.
The hat-trick attempt didn’t come off but he was far from disgraced when fifth behind Joe Farrell in the spring.
My fancy got within a neck of landing this race on his comeback last season when the ground was way softer than he likes so he should reverse that form with Perfect Candidate.
Singlefarmpayment has more than enough ability to take this but I don’t really trust him to get the job done.
He spurned a golden opportunity at this course in April when he didn’t look too keen to go by Another Hero. If they go a fast ace it would help him but he does need things to fall perfectly.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Cogry stays every yard of this distance.
He was only beaten a neck on his return to action at the last meeting here when West Approach and Calett Mad filled the places behind him. A 4lbs rise makes life a little tricky.
Stablemate Calett Mad has stacks of experience for one so young. He could easily improve for his latest run and he certainly has races like this in him.
Rock The Kasbah needs it softer and 2015 Gold Cup hero Coneygree will be surely just be looking to get back on track.
GIVE unexposed BENATAR a pat for the BetVictor Gold Cup. He had some decent novice hurdles form a couple of seasons and he was even better over fences last term.
Smart chasers Finian’s Oscar and Keeper Hill were among his victims when he rattled a hat-trick of wins after switching to chasing.
His third behind Shattered Love and Terrefort in the JLT at the Festival was a good effort especially as he pulled way too hard on ground softer than ideal.
His comeback fourth at Newton Abbot could be considered disappointing but it was on heavy going and I’m convinced Gary Moore’s hope is much better than that.
It should have knocked the freshness out of him and the likely stronger pace is sure to help.
Rather Be is the obvious starting point. He was beaten just a head by Mister Whitaker in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap at the Festival and is now 9lbs better off.
His record when returning from a break is a perfect three wins from three starts and the good ground will suit. It’s hard to see how he won’t go close.
Mister Whitaker went up 7lbs for winning at Carlisle on his return but he’s got plenty of improvement in him. He’s unbeaten in two visits to Cheltenham and he’s got solid claims.
Kalondra and Baron Alco – a stablemate of Benatar – are others in with a shout but the ground is unlikely to be soft enough for last year’s winner Splash Of Ginge.
FIRST ASSIGNMENT should continue his progress in the staying hurdle. He was a promising novice last season and he returned to land a gamble at last month’s meeting at this track.
That was over 2m5f and the way he came home to nail Vive Le Roi suggests he’ll love the step up to 3m. There’s a good chance he will be rated a fair bit higher at the end of the season.
There’s plenty more races in him and Tom George has his team in fine form but he probably needs softer ground to show his best form.
David Pipe has a good record in this race. His staying chaser Vieux Lion Rouge probably won’t be quick enough for this but stablemate Dell’ Arca is interesting.
He’s been chasing recently but is probably better over hurdles.
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DO deal with Dell boy. DELL ORO won on his bumper debut and he also struck first time out over hurdles last season so the fact he hasn’t run yet this season could be a positive.
He was beaten at odds-on when last seen but he was a little unlucky as he was undone by a bad mistake at the final hurdle.
His previous third behind Diese Des Bieffes at this track was a good effort and he seems at his best on decent ground.
Speedo Boy looks really well weighted. He’s a really smart Flat stayer and there was nothing wrong with his hurdles efforts last season.
Having won at Huntingdon he took on top juvenile Apple’s Shakira at this course when the ground unsuitably soft. If his hurdling inexperience doesn’t let him down he has to have a great chance.
Lygon Rock made a decent handicap debut when runner-up at Aintree. He has potential. I’m not sure Serosevsky wants to go this far but both Lugarno Palace and Christmas In April are in with a shout.
GO to war with MASTER THE WORLD in the Betway Churchill Stakes.
He came home well to win this race 12 months ago and he went on to show his liking for this course and distance in the spring. The stewards rightly handed him the Winter Derby after he was bumped by Mr Owen in the closing stages.
He was only beaten half-a-length in the Easter Classic on Good Friday before returning to turf. His form has not been as good bit I’m sure he’s just much better on the all-weather these days.
Addeybb is a class act. His comeback win in the Lincoln was most impressive and he followed it by stepping up in grade to land the Bet365 Mile at Sandown.
The hot summer kept him off the track until Champions Day so it was disappointing to see him trail home well beaten behind Roaring Lion in the QEII Stakes as he had his favoured soft ground. That leaves him with a fair bit to prove.
Big Country is more interesting. He’s unbeaten in three all-weather starts and he won twice on turf last season.
The 3lbs penalty he picked up for winning a Pontefract Listed prize makes life tricky but I expect him to go well.
IT should be a good Knight for the Betway Golden Rose Stakes. CORINTHIA KNIGHT rattled up an impressive four-timer on the all-weather last spring.
There’s little doubt he’s well up to this level and his Chelmsford second over 5f in August was a fine effort considering he finds that trip a little on the sharp side.
That was only his third defeat in 10 runs on the all-weather so he has to have a great chance.
Gifted Master has always had plenty of class. He won this race 12 months ago but was a little disappointing in the spring at this track on Good Friday.
Maybe he went off fast enough that day and he bounced back to win the Stewards Cup at Goodwood so he is a dangerous opponent.
Giving weight away all round won’t be easy for Above The Rest.
12.40 Never Adapt
1.15 The Worlds End
1.50 Vicente (nap)
2.25 Benatar (nb)
3.00 First Assignment
3.30 Dell Oro (treble)
4.00 Danse Idol
11.55 Polly’s Gold
12.25 Winter Sky
1.35 Original Choice
2.10 Side Effect
2.45 Master The World
3.15 Corinthia Knight
3.45 Harry Callahan
12.15 Quantum Of Solace
12.50 Ninth Wave
1.25 Bramble Brook
2.00 Tokay Dokey
2.35 Treackle Tart
3.05 Premier Rose
12.30 Highway Girl
1.05 Miles To Milan
1.40 Wemyss Point
2.15 Catamaran Du Seuil
3.20 Raven’s Tower
3.50 Hawk High
5.15 Jem Scuttle
6.15 King Of Change
6.45 Magic Illusion
7.15 Swift Rose
7.45 Star Of Bengal
8.15 It’s All A Joke