Saturday Selections

2pt win Cloudy Glen in 2.12 Wincanton at 5/1

2pt win Valtor 2.25 Ascot at 4/1

1pt win Eden Du Houx 3.00 Ascot at 11/2

1pt win Portrush Ted in 3.50 Haydock at 7/2

Wincanton are set to stage a good seven race card tomorrow and when glancing through the declarations I was immediately drawn to the progressive CLOUDY GLEN, who looked set to land a decent prize at Sandown two weeks ago before falling victim to a similarly progressive novice in the form of Deise Aba.

The Trevor Hemmings’ owned seven-year-old earned a 3lbs rise for that effort. However, he was pitched in against seasoned opposition and he acquitted himself well, and I am sure that the experience won’t be lost on him going forwards.

It’s possible that the 3 mile trip and steep uphill finish caught Cloudy Glen out that day, especially given how keen he was in the early to mid stages of the race. The the son of Cloudings should enjoy returning to two and a half miles (011712F1R) on ground that will suit and he remains open to plenty of improvement in this sphere.

It should also be noted that he was also entered in novice company at Haydock tomorrow – a track at which he boasts an unblemished (2-2) record. Therefore it may be significant that connections have elected to head to Wincanton instead.

Competitive 3 mile handicap chases at Ascot seem to suit some more than others, and perhaps none more so than Regal Encore, who was successful over this course and distance in December. However, VALTOR has also demonstrated his liking for the Berkshire track since arriving from France and he looks fairly treated on the pick of his form.

The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned eleven-year-old is only 2lbs higher than when routing his opposition over this course and distance on his British debut in December 2018, and he again displayed his liking for Ascot when defeating subsequent Grade 2 scorer Redford Road over hurdles in November.

The experienced son of Nidor bumped into the classy Yala Enki when placing third at Taunton last month. However, that run will have got his eye back in over fences and he will arrive at Ascot with his yard in good form.

Connections have been shrewd in exploiting his novice status over hurdles, but he is clearly a much better chaser than he is hurdler and with trip, track and ground firmly in his favour he is undoubtedly a huge player tomorrow.

The following handicap hurdle looks wide open on paper. However, I expect handicap debutant EDEN DU HOUX to rate much higher than his opening mark of 130 and he looks sure to be suited by stepping back-up in trip after getting off the mark at Chepstow last month.

David Pipe’s impressive point scorer readily dispatched the 136 rated On The Slopes on his racecourse debut at Plumpton before following-up in a Listed bumper at Ascot three weeks later, where he stayed on well to get the better of the 139 rated Imperial Alcazar, Aintree Grade 2 bumper scorer The Glancing Queen and the 140 rated Enrilo, who landed a Grade 2 prize at Sandown in December.

Runner-up on his hurdling debut at Fontwell in October, connections elected to send Eden Du Houx for wind surgery following a disappointing effort in Grade 2 company at Cheltenham in November, and the Irish Wells gelding seemingly reaped the rewards of that procedure when making a successful return to action at Chepstow last month, where he scored a narrow success over the 135 rated Mario De Pail, with the front pair pulling 24 lengths clear of the third.

All six of his lifetime starts have come on soft or heavy ground and the fact that he is proven at this track is a huge added bonus. David Pipe has already surpassed his tally of winners in each of the last two seasons and the master of Pond House, like his father before him, has a habit of exploiting lenient handicap ratings. Therefore it would be no surprise should Eden Du Houx turn this hotly contested heat into a procession.

It is also worth noting that Tom Scudamore has elected to go to Ascot to ride Eden Du Houx instead of partnering Ramses De Teille in Grade 2 company at Haydock – which may be significant.

I’m normally not inclined to dabble in Pertemps qualifiers. However, it’s interesting to see that Warren Greatrex has left PORTRUSH TED in the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham, which is an indication that connections feel that he could prove to be more than a mere handicapper in the fullness of time.

The promising eight-year-old defied a 519 day absence when scoring at Ayr last month and he could easily be well handicapped off a mark of 138 given the form of his Grade 2 bumper victory at Aintree in 2018, where he proved too strong for Harambe, Al Dancer, Thosdaysaregone, Pym and Mister Fisher amongst others.

Portrush Ted made a successful hurdling debut at Perth prior to injury and he looks sure to be suited by stepping back-up in trip to three miles. He will also relish the soft ground as three of his four victories to date have been achieved in such conditions.

The same connections are responsible for current Rendlesham Hurdle favourite The Worlds End and if Portrush Ted can match the ability of his brothers Shantou Village and Bun Duran then he too could be competing a graded level before too long.

Antepost Punting: The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

Palladium has earned a mark of 137 following back-to-back victories at Sandown and, as he doesn’t hold an entry in the Triumph Hurdle, it is highly likely that he will head down the handicap route at Cheltenham next month.

Nicky Henderson’s promising chestnut only narrowly failed to concede 7lbs to Maskada on his hurdling debut at Warwick in December. However, he found plenty in the finish in spite of travelling keenly for much of the contest and he would almost certainly have been called the winner with another stride or two.

Stuart Edmunds’ mare enhanced that form when placing fourth in the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow over Christmas, when perhaps paying the price for chasing Dan Skelton’s hugely exciting speedster Allmankind, who is currently vying for favouratism in the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle.

Palladium didn’t achieve much when getting off the mark at Sandown in January. However, he was 10 lengths too good for the solid yardstick Flic Ou Yoyou when returning to Esher 10 days ago, and the manner in which he bounded up the steep Sandown hill, in spite of again travelling keenly in the early stages, suggested that he could prove to be an above average hurdler.

Paul Nicholls’ charge was only 3 lengths behind Grade 2 runner-up Edwardstone and subsequent Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle scorer Fiddleroftheroof at Wincanton in November, and Palladium, who is another graduate of the Henrietta Knight school of jumping, leapt fluently throughout and clearly had plenty left in the tank after getting in tight to the last.

The Champs Elysees gelding was rated 73 on the flat and has already proven himself versatile in terms of ground. Nicky Henderson trained Divin Bere and Style De Grade to place second in this race off marks of 139 and 137 in 2017 and 2018 respectively, and the master of Seven Barrows has few equals when it comes to training juvenile hurdlers.

The pace of the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle should help him to settle and his slick jumping is undoubtedly a very strong asset in a contest such as this. We know that he doesn’t mind a stiff uphill finish and I am therefore happy to strike a wager at 20/1.

SELECTION: Palladium – 1pt each-way at 20/1 (William Hill)

Saturday Selections

You can also read this at; https://t.co/nkp9SYYtrx?amp=1 ⚪️

1pt win Sastruga in 1.30 Warwick at 11/4

1pt win Vive Le Roi in 1.50 Newbury at 8/1

3pts win Nube Negra in 2.05 Warwick at 13/8

1pt win Present Value in 4.10 Newbury at 9/2

1pt win Brief Ambition in 4.45 Newbury at 7/1

It’s fair to say that SASTRUGA wasn’t given a hard time when chasing home a well handicapped rival at Uttoxeter in December and Henry Oliver’s charge could easily be well treated off a mark of 112.

Lightly raced for his age, that rates a career best effort by quite some way and he may have given the winner much to think about had he jumped with any degree of fluency whatsoever.

I’m sure that Sastruga will have undergone some intensive schooling since his trip to the midlands and he may jump better out of this less testing ground. The penny seemed to drop in the closing stages of that contest and he hit the line full of running, which suggested that he had plenty left in the tank.

Jeremiah McGrath will maintain his association with the seven-year-old and another big step forwards seems likely.

We can all be guilty of overlooking those towards the head of the weights in favour of potentially well-handicapped up-and-coming rivals. However, VIVE LE ROI is thoroughly consistent at this level and he holds sound claims in the Betfair Bet In-Play Handicap Hurdle.

Tony Carroll’s likeable nine-year-old was only a neck behind current favourite One For The Team when placing third over this course and distance in November, with the reopposing Dolphin Square back in fourth. Vive Le Roi will be 3lbs better off with the former and 6lbs better off with the latter tomorrow yet he’s behind both of those rivals in the betting, which seems pretty generous in my opinion.

The experienced son of Robin Des Pres dropped back in trip to finish second in the Listed Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton last time out and he was successful over this course and distance on his only other visit to Newbury, albeit off a 9lbs lower mark.

The drying ground and presence of regular jockey Harry Bannister are further elements in Vive Le Roi’s favour and Tony Carrol has enjoyed plenty of success on the flat in recent weeks. Therefore another bold bid seems likely.

The Grade 2 Kingmaker Novices’ Chase is the main event at Warwick and I am particularly looking forward to seeing NUBE NEGRA, who could easily make his presence felt in Grade 1 company this spring.

Dan Skelton’s six-year-old was ultimately frustrating over hurdles but has quickly developed into an above average novice chaser and is already rated 16lbs higher in this sphere. Indeed, the fleet-footed six-year-old is electric at his obstacles and he brings Grade 1 form to the table having chased home Esprit Du Large in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown in December.

Nube Negra bolted up over this course and distance on his chasing debut in October before defeating a brace of subsequent scorers at Fakenham four-weeks-later. He jumped like an old hand and sprinted clear on both of those occasions and the drying ground at Warwick will very much play to his strengths.

Torpillo was two places behind Nube Negra at Sandown and Precious Cargo and Moonlighter are closely matched on their Newbury form. However, Dan Skelton’s representative is the highest rated runner in the field and he can take this Grade 2 prize en route to bigger things.

The penultimate contest at Newbury is a three mile novice chase and I am keen to be with PRESENT VALUE for the in-form partnership of Evan Williams and Adam Wedge.

The Lighty raced son of Gold Well, who will carry the readily recognisable blue and pink silks of staunch Stable patrons Mr and Mrs William Rucker, has applied himself well in two starts over fences in spite of being beaten at relatively short odds. Both of those outings came in slowly run contests over middle distance trips and this step-up to three miles looks sure to suit given that he is closely related to Stayers Hurdle hero Paisley Park.

Present Value chased home subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner Al Dancer on his racecourse debut at Ffos Las last season and he looked potentially above average when beating a decent field at Chepstow next time out. Clearly connections were keen to get their youngster over fences and I’m sure that they would be pretty disappointed if he didn’t prove better than a mark of 128.

The drying ground could easily be sighted as a cause for concern given that only one of his five career outings to date have come on ground with good in the description. However, Evan Williams knew the conditions when deciding to declare and I am sure that he wouldn’t hesitate in pulling the six-year-old out if he deemed that the surface was unsuitable.

Present Value jumped like a cat at both Aintree and Exeter and he will receive plenty of weight from those towards the head of the betting. Therefore he should run well if given the green light to run.

The concluding contest at Newbury is a warm looking bumper and I am minded to side with the Fergal O’Brien trained BRIEF AMBITION, who bumped into the Cheltenham Festival bound Israel Champ when placing fourth in a Listed bumper at Cheltenham in November.

The promising son of Yeats defeated a subsequent easy scorer on his rules debut at Southwell and he landed a good ground point-to-point at Bellurgan Park at the third time of asking, having found only Glynn, who made an impressive hurdling debut at Doncaster two weeks ago, too good at Portrush last March.

Brief Ambition bumped into some useful rivals in the Cotswolds and he was the only horse that managed to make up ground from the rear of the field, which was no easy task given the testing conditions.

The drying ground at Newbury will be to his liking and Fergal O’Brien, who is renowned for his prowess with bumper horses, has his sting firing on all cylinders at present. Therefore I expect him to outperform market expectations.

Antepost Punting: The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

Antepost Punting – The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m5f

As I’ve said many time before, antepost betting is about risk versus reward, and with that firmly at the forefront of my mind I am going to suggest backing Shishkin for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle prior to his outing in the Listed Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle at Huntingdon on Thursday.

Nicky Henderson’s exciting six-year-old set many a pulse racing when impressively landing a novice hurdle at Newbury three weeks ago. The imposing Sholokov gelding has been supported into favouritism for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on the back of that victory. However, I wonder if connections may be minded to take the two-and-a-half-mile route following Asterion Forlonge’s impressive Grade 1 success in the Chanelle Pharma Novices’ Hurdle (2m) at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The fact that Shishkin was entered over 2 miles at Sandown on Saturday yet heads to the near two-and-a-half-miles Sidney Banks adds further fuel to the fire. And success on Thursday would undoubtedly see his price collapse for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, leaving Mrs Donnelly with a very strong hand in both the 2m and 2m4f divisions.

Obviously it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Asterion Forlonge could step up in trip and Willie Mullins did mention that he considered him a stayer originally. However, the Irish Champion trainer doesn’t tend to make his mind up too quickly about Cheltenham Festival targets, therefore the fact that he described the exciting grey as a ‘Supreme horse’ in his post race interview should not be taken lightly.

Furthermore, the master of Closutton is also responsible for The Big Getaway in the same yellow and black squared silks, therefore he will be keen to keep them apart come Cheltenham, which would surely push Asterion Forlonge even closer to the Supreme.

Now, clearly I could be reading too much into things and both Asterion Forlonge and Shishkin could do battle in Cheltenham’s curtain raising contest. However, I’m more than happy to have a punt on the latter stepping up in trip at the tasty price of 16/1.

SELECTION: Shishkin – 1.5pt at 16/1 (Generally)

Dublin Racing Festival: Sunday

1.5pts each-way Column Of Fire in 2.30 at Leopardstown at 15/2 (Skybet, BetVictor)

1pt win Chris’s Dream in 3.30 at Leopardstown at 8/1 (Generally)

1.5pts each-way Robin Des Foret in 4.00 at Leopardstown at 8/1 (William Hill)

We’re set for another fantastic days racing at Leopardstown tomorrow and I am particiculary keen on the chances of COLUMN OF FIRE in the ultra-competitive William Fry Handicap Hurdle.

Gordon Elliott’s charge got off the mark with a 13 lengths romp at Punchestown three weeks ago and he look sure he be suited by stepping-up in trip on this his handicap debut.

The Gigginstown House Stud owned six-year-old placed third behind Elixir D’ainay and Longhouse Poet on his hurdling debut in November and that pair progressed to place second and third respectively behind the hugely exciting Envoi D’Allen in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle last month. He was then beaten a shade over 1 length by Longhouse Poet at Navan, and the form of that contest looks solid as the third placed Opposites Attract has won both of his subsequent starts.

Form of that nature makes a mark of 132 look potentially lenient and the Robin Des Champs gelding with have no problem with the conditions that Leopardstown will serve up. Therefore all looks set for a very big run.

The Irish Gold Cup could prove a good guide to the blue riband contest in March with Delta Work, Kemboy and Presenting Percy all single figure prices for the Cheltenham showpiece. However, Sizing John wasn’t deemed to be a genuine Gold Cup contender until landing this contest in 2017, and victory here would put the Henry De Bromhead trained CHRIS’S DREAM in a very similar position.

The Robcour owned eight-year-old has only graced the racetrack once this season when bolting up in the always competitive Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan in November. The runner-up Fitzhenry, who was beaten the best part of 10 lengths, was narrowly touched off in the Paddy Power Chase over Christmas and the handicapper saw fit to hit De Bromhead’s charge with a 14lbs rise to a mark of 160, which more than warrants his place in this field.

Chris’s Dream defeated Cheltenham Festival scorers Champagne Classic and Any Second Now in the Grade 2 Ten Up Novice Chase at Navan last season and his record after a break of 50 days or more reads 1061121, therefore arriving here fresh will be very much in favour.

The classy son of Mahler tanked through the Troytown like a genuine Grade 1 performer and he will be trained to the minute for this assignment, while many of his rivals will be using this as a stepping stone to Cheltenham. Therefore he may hold a slight advantage over the main market protagonists.

His best form has come on ground with plenty of cut. Therefore the softer the ground, the greater his chance

My third and final selection is ROBIN DES FORET, who failed to see out the 3 mile trip in the ultra-competitive Paddy Power Handicap Chase over Christmas and will appreciate returning to two-and-a-half-miles.

Willie Mullins’ ten-year-old was beaten less than a length when placing third in the Grade 3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham in December and the form of that contest looks solid as the fourth placed Cepage and runner-up Spiritofthegames placed first and second respectively in the same grade on Cheltenham Trials Day last weekend.

The hardy son of Robin Des Pres will compete from a career high mark tomorrow and he could be vulnerable to improving young rivals. However, he jumps well, travels strongly throughout his races and his vast experience could prove vital in a race such as this. Therefore he makes great each-way appeal.

Robin Des Foret is clearly on good terms with himself at present and he most certainly has the ability to land a prize such as this.

Saturday Selections (1/2/20)

Good Boy Bobby has solid form in the book and can put it up to Laurina in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown.

You can also read tomorrow’s selections on Sporting Life by following this link;

https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/stu-williams-good-scilly-bet/176810

⚪️

2pts win Good Boy Bobby in 2.25 Sandown at 4/1

1pt win Golan Fortune in 3.00 Sandown at 15/2

1pt win Classic Ben in 3.35 Sandown at 5/1

2pt win Iconic Muddle in 4.10 Sandown at 3/1

1pt win Thatsy in 3.45 Leopardstown at 12/1

There’s fantastic action on both sides of the Irish Sea tomorrow and while the Dublin Racing Festival is undoubtedly a must watch for any ardent racing enthusiast, I have stronger views regarding Sandown, where I hope GOOD BOY BOBBY can land the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained six-year-old has impressed over fences and the form of his narrow defeat at the hooves of Mister Fisher, whom received 5lbs, at Cheltenham looks solid after Nicky Henderson’s inmate landed the Grade 2 Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster last Saturday.

Good Boy Bobby attempted to make all from the third fence and he did display a tendency to jump out to the right. Naturally that won’t be an issue going this way around and he could put the Willie Mullins’ trained Laurina in difficulty if jumping soundly at the head of affairs.

The Paul and Clare Rooney owned gelding had subsequent Grade Two scorers Midnight Shadow and Global Citizen well behind when narrowly being denied by the unbeaten novice Brewin’Upastorm on his chasing debut at Carlisle in October. While Ravenhill Road, who followed Good Boy Bobby home at Wetherby, has also been victorious since.

Good Boy Bobby already has two heavy ground victories to his name and he hails from a yard in form. Therefore, he boasts very sound claims in this Grade 1 contest.

The following handicap hurdle will be a true test of stamina and i am particularly interested in the Phil Middleton trained GOLAN FORTUNE, who hasn’t been sighted since justifying market support at Cheltenham in November.

The lightly raced eight-year-old will compete from a 4lbs higher mark tomorrow, which means that he is 2lbs higher than when chasing home subsequent Coral Cup runner-up – and last season’s RSA Chase hero – Topofthegame in the corresponding contest in 2017.

Clearly the Golan gelding bumped into a very well handicapped rival on that occasion. However, it did confirm his liking for the track and he does boast form-figures of 12301 on ground officially soft or heavy, which is important given both the current going and latest weather forecast in Esher.

Golan Fortune has held many entries since his success in the Cotswolds, including some over fences. Therefore the fact that he remains over hurdles is either due to unconvincing schooling or a belief that he has more to offer over timber. Naturally I hope it’s the latter and Tommie O’Brien’s 5lbs claim can only aid his prospects.

The Betway Masters Chase is next up and I simply have to back last years winner CLASSIC BEN given how well that race has worked out.

The reopposing runner-up Ami Debois is now rated 10lbs higher. While the third placed Kimberlite Candy and fourth placed Give Me A Copper are 13lbs higher and 4lbs higher after plundering the Grade 3 Classic Chase at Warwick and Listed Badger Beers Silver Trophy at Wincanton respectively.

Clearly last year’s renewal was slightly above average and Classic Ben will line-up off just a pound higher tomorrow, which looks extremely exploitable given how those who filled the places last year have fared since.

Classic Ben fell at the eighth fence in the voided London National at Sandown in November and he bumped into a clearly well handicapped rival when placing third at Haydock last time out. I was a touch disappointed that Stuart Edmunds’ charge didn’t finish second that day. However, I am of the opinion that he is marginally better going right-handed and two of his three career victories have been achieved going clockwise.

Tomorrow’s field is packed with potential improvers and Classic Ben will need to be equally as good this year in order to prevail. However, he will compete off a featherweight 10-3 and his prominent style of racing is well suited to Sandown. Therefore he looks sure to run a big race if jumping proficiently.

Gary Moore has his string in fine form at present the West Sussex based handler boasts a healthy 16% strike-rate at Sandown over the last 5 years – which is only bettered by Nicky Henderson (26%). Therefore, I am always minded to take an interest when I see a Gary Moore trained handicap debutant line-up at the Esher track, which makes ICONIC MUDDLE an intriguing proposition tomorrow.

The son of Sixties Icon is a half-brother to the Stable’s Not Another Muddle, who placed third on this card 12 months ago before going two places better next time out. The seven-year-old has only amassed 5 career outings thus far. However, he has displayed distinct promise on his last three visits to the racetrack and the form of his latest runner-up effort at Plumpton, when stepping-up to two-and-a-half-miles for the first time, received a boost when the winner, Cat Tiger, returned to the East Sussex track to record an effortless 31 lengths success on Monday.

Iconic Muddle was beaten three-and-a-half-lengths that day and his victor, who boasts form-figures of 21211 since arriving from France, is currently rated 135 (will go up on Tuesday). Therefore it’s fair to presume that Iconic Muddle could be fairly treated off a mark of 115.

I can’t resist a competitive two mile handicap and therefore felt obliged to dive deep into the Ladbrokes Hurdle at Leopardstown where the promising Unexpected tops the betting for Willie Mullins and JP McManus.

A mark of 137 could easily underestimate Great Field’s half-brother. However, i have a suspicion that the Gordon Elliott trained THATSY has been brought along with handicaps in mind, and he will have learnt plenty from his debut that sphere when placing fourth over this course and distance at Christmas.

The promising grey beat Ben Pauling’s dual novice hurdle scorer The Captains Inn, who cost connections £220,000, on his debut between the flags and he has been gaining valuable hurdling experience following a smooth bumper success at Navan on his debut under rules.

Thatsy chased home Noel Meade’s solid performer Battle Of Midway on his hurdling debut at Galway before bumping into subsequent Grade 2 scorer Latest Exhibition (Grade 1 runner tomorrow) at the same venue three weeks later. His only subsequent outing saw him defeat the solid yardstick Entoucas by a neck and a mark of 133 could prove lenient in the fullness of time.

I do have a suspicion that the Martaline gelding may be seen to best effect over further, and I wonder if connections may already have one eye on the Coral Cup in March. However, they’re going to go a real good gallop in this contest and he may be able to strike if well positioned in the closing stages.

⚪️

Image supplied by JTW Equine Images (JTWEquineImag).

All Images Copyright ©JTW Equine Images. All Rights Reserved, please ask them if you wish to use the images. http://tomwilliams275.wixsite.com/jtwequineimages

Bank on the Boss

Gordon Elliott entered a number of Festival hopefuls for Cheltenham Trials day this week with the intention of finding out what the British handicapper is thinking ahead of the March.

Those entered in the Triumph Hurdle trial are perhaps under consideration for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. However, the one that really took my eye was The Bosses Oscar, who was entered in the Grade 2 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and received a British rating of 136, which would be enough to get in to most Cheltenham Festival Handicaps.

The Bosses Oscar failed to score between the flags but comfortably landed a bumper on his racecourse debut before narrowly being denied by last season’s Champion Bumper runner-up Blue Sari on his hurdling debut at Punchestown in November.

The Oscar gelding got off the mark at the second time of asking when defeating the potentially smart pairing of Fun Light and John Snow at Leopardstown over Christmas, and the manner of that success suggested that he could take pretty high rank in novice company this winter. Therefore, he would make plenty of appeal in handicap company off a mark of 136.

The chief of Cullentra Stables likes to target the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle given his previous association with Pond House. Indeed, he landed the race with Champagne Classic and Blow By Blow in 2017 and 2018 respectively and he went close to landing the hat-trick with Dallas Des Pictons last term.

The promising five-year-old is versatile in terms of ground and he appears to possess grit, determination and high performance engine required to succeed at the Cheltenham Festival. Therefore I am happy to take the 20/1 that is readily available in the hope that he shows up in March.

SELECTION: The Bosses Oscar – 1.5pts each way at 20/1 (Betfair, Paddy Power – 5 Places)