Heross De Seuil
He seems to be a very nice horse with a good pedigree. I wouldn’t know the value of the form but he won his only start in France over 1m4f on the Flat in the summer, and this looks a decent starting point for him.
We all know what an exciting chasing prospect he is, but he has won just a four-runner race where he wasn’t put under any pressure for the second part of the race, so let’s get some perspective before we crown him the Arkle winner. But of course we were thrilled with his chase debut here last month, where he did all we could have asked of him. He was great. We know what a good horse this Supreme winner was over hurdles, and we hope he can be better still over fences and meet these stiffer form challenges head on. And he does meet very good rivals here, including our own Elusive Belle, who is getting plenty of weight. I schooled him on Wednesday and he was A1.
I also schooled Altior on Wednesday morning and it is all systems go with him. I am not going to be drawn into the over-reaction to us doing the right thing by the horse at Sandown, but let’s just say that the ground will suit him much better around here, especially as we appear to have missed a lot of the rain in the lead-up to the race. I think there is some forecast overnight, but he should be fine. This is his first run of the season and he carries a 6lb penalty for his Game Spirit win, but he comes in here in good order and is the obvious form choice, though perhaps not by as much as the betting suggests. This is horse racing though, there are no guarantees and he is 11 next month. And he also meets some very good horses here who have all had a run with the exception of Nube Negra, so let’s see how we get on. We are hopeful, though.
Faro De Kerser
I haven’t ridden him before but he clearly comes here in good form after winning a couple in France recently. His mark has gone up to 132 as a result, but hopefully that still gives him chances and any significant rain will probably increase his chances.