It’s no secret that he looks very well handicapped off 139 given what he did at Newbury and our original plan to go for the RSA Chase with him had to be shelved when we saw his mark. It’s a great opportunity as we think he’s a much better horse than 139 implies, and he improved significantly for stepping up to 3m last time, so this is definitely the right race for him.
Being well-handicapped is only half the battle as I would think at least two thirds of the field would be considered to have a bit in hand of their marks – we will need a lot of luck along the way, but he’s a sound jumper who goes into the races in great form, so we go there with high hopes.
We have been looking after his mark ever since which is why his prep run came over hurdles at Ascot, where he ran a cracker - I couldn’t have asked for a better run. He’s a completely different horse over the bigger obstacles, his jumping is electric, and that will stand him in good stead for a race as competitive as this. He is absolutely bouncing at home and although it’s a hugely competitive race, we have a very exciting horse on our hands.