Having proven best of those drawn high in a red-hot nursery at York last week, STORM CRY (best price 5-2) is taken to make the most of her current handicap mark. In staying on strongly to finish third behind the well-treated The Wagon Wheel on the Knavesmire, Mark Johnston’s charge deserves upgrading massively given the huge task she faced running against the track bias, and with the likelihood of more to come, this improving three-year-old could prove a tough nut to crack in this slightly-less taxing affair.
NO CEILING (best price 7-4) made total mincemeat of his rivals at Southwell last time out (looked like he just joined in two out) and providing his can translate that sort of form to his first assignment over fences, he should prove good enough with a clear round. Raised 14lb by the handicapper subsequently, connections have spotted a nice opportunity in the programme book to exploit his old rating of 102 and even though he’s yet to face a fence in public yet, his technique over the brush hurdles in recent times does instil a fair bit of confidence in the jumping department.
KING’S WHARF (NAP) (best price 13-8) arrives here in a rich vein of form and he looks poised to take advantage of a good piece of placing by his canny handler. Winner of his last three races in fairly quick succession, Willie Mullins’ inmate began that sequence with a smooth victory over hurdles off a mark of 96 and he quickly added to his tally with two subsequent successes over fences – resulting a new chase rating of 122. Returning to the former discipline off a perch 19lb lower, it doesn’t take a genius to work out the son of Clodovil is particularly well treated and given his current wellbeing, it would come as a surprise if he wasn’t capable of seizing upon this golden opportunity.