JOSSES HILL 144 FSF 146 FORM
Jumps well and displayed progressive form when second to Royal Boy at Kempton Park. Built to be a chaser, the two Henderson horses drew well clear of Upazo and Garde Victoire, both competent hurdlers in their own right. Josses Hill will continue to improve and has a sound chance on ratings. A prominent display would be a pointer to Royal Boy’s claims in the Neptune Hurdle. It may also pay to be remember, Faugheen handed out a twenty-two length beating to Josses Hill in a Bumper at Punchestown last year. Both sides of his pedigree suggests he will stay three-miles in time. Josses Hill has won on good to soft and soft.
VAUTOUR 144 FSF 149 FORM
Unbeaten in three hurdles including a Grade One at Leopardstown. Whilst it can be argued he dictated the pace to his advantage in the Deloitte Hurdle, it should be noted The Tullow Tank recorded his best RPR that day. When challenged he quickened in good style to settle the issue comprehensively. Vautour looks to possess the perfect blend of speed and stamina, allied to an excellent jumping technique. Vautour has won on good to yielding through too heavy.
IRVING 144 FSF 148 FORM
Travels well and has an excellent turn of foot. Winner of four hurdle races latterly the Dovecote at Kempton Park. Irving missed several hurdles in that race, notably the second last and flights. Seven of his eight wins (Flat/Hurdle) have come on right-handed tracks where the emphasis is more on speed than stamina, though breeding suggests he will stay two and half-miles. Yet to have a Graded or Listed winner finish behind him over hurdles. Since 2008, Binocular is the only ex-flat horse to have won, or in his case place, in this race. Spirit Son and Medermit finished second having won over hurdles in France prior to arriving in the UK. In the same period, all winners were ex-Bumper horses. 2007 winner Ebaziyan was the last ex-flat horse to win the race at odds of 40/1; trained by a certain W Mullins. Irving has won on good through too soft.
WICKLOW BRAVE 138 FSF 144 FORM
Since July 2013, this fellow has won three Bumpers and two hurdle races, including a Listed Hurdle at Punchestown last time out. He has won on undulating and flat tracks going left and right-handed. On each occasion, he has improved his RPR. Last time out in a Listed race out at , he showed a good turn of foot to dispose of four previous winners, including Real Steel who won a Grade Two event on his next outing. Whilst his jumping needs to sharpen up he is clearly blessed with plenty of ability. His FSF is lower than those above due to average time figures. However, with two hurdle runs under his saddle, he can be expected to find further improvement. Bred by the same sire as 2012 hero Cinders And Ashes, his dam was a mile and half flat winner. Wicklow Brave has won on good through to heavy.
Of the remainder, WESTERN BOY ran a blinder behind Vautour in a Grade Two at Punchestown in January. Rested since then, he looked to have further improvement in him and should not be discounted. Western Boy is effective on good through to soft/heavy.
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