This is a competitive hurdle, but I think my horse holds the strongest credentials going into the race. He was a very good and promising novice chaser before losing his way a touch when trained in Ireland, but he has run two great races over hurdles since joining us. In fact, he has had the misfortune of bumping into two very well-handicapped horses on both occasions, most notably behind Langer Dan at Aintree, a race in which Balco Coastal, who I rode, was 8 lengths away in third. That just about makes him the one to beat here, with trip and ground to suit.
This is obviously a hugely competitive race but City Chief has a young, progressive profile so hopefully there is some upside to his mark of 131. Winner of his sole point in the summer of 2021, he has acquitted himself well in all four of his hurdling starts and he showed he can battle when winning at Ayr last time. I think he has a fair shot at this.