I Am Maximus
We are fortunate enough to have some serious talent in the novice hurdling division, and hopefully I Am Maximus can be classed among them after this. He has done little wrong so far, that is for sure, beating My Drogo here on his bumper debut and then showing the benefit of his hurdling bow at Exeter when winning really well for me over 2m at Newbury last time. The most impressive aspect of that win last time was the way he finished off his race, so the step up in trip is well worth trying. This is a good race and will take plenty of winning, but he is another exciting talent among our youngsters.
He never got competitive in the Ladbrokes Trophy last time but the handicapper has played fair and dropped him another 4lb for it. He is clearly very well-treated on his 2019 winning form and ran well on his return for me at Chepstow, but he could have done with better ground than he is likely to get here.
He had a great start to his career, winning his sole point, scoring on his hurdling debut and then finishing a good second at Ascot. Things obviously haven’t gone on as well since then, and he needs to bounce back from a couple of below-par runs, including when falling on his chasing debut at Exeter, but he is a very talented horse if we can get him back on track. Hopefully, he can show that here, though this is a good Grade 2 and a pretty tough ask for him.
On The Blind Side
He obviously wasn’t quite at his best in the Long Walk last time but that was a very strong renewal of that Grade 1 contest. He can boast any number of performances that would make him competitive in this company, he has an excellent winning record around here and I don’t think the step down in trip will hinder him at all, especially with the ground likely to ride plenty testing enough.
He is a nice sort who has pleased us since coming here in the summer, and hopefully he will show up well, but this is primarily a learning curve for us and the horse. He looks decent, though.