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L’ami can Serge to hat-trick in Tolworth Hurdle

L’ami Serge has looked a hugely exciting prospect in winning his two starts since joining Nicky Henderson and can take the step up into Grade 1 company in his stride to land the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown today (2.25).

The gelding has some smart for to his name when trained in France by Guillalme Macaire and could not have been more impressive when cruising home by six lengths in a Listed handicap hurdle at Newbury on his first start for Henderson.

The four-year-old travelled ominously well throughout, and won with any amount in hand despite flattening the last two flights.

L’ami Serge looked to have a huge engine judged on that performance, and confirmed that impression when cruising to a facile seven length success over Killutagh Vic in a Grade 2 contest at Ascot last month.

The son of King’s Theatre once again travelled strongly and showed a superb turn of foot between the last two flights to put the race to bed.

L’ami Serge was far from fluent at the last, but was quickly gathered together by jockey Barry Geraghty to win with his head in his chest.

It was an immense performance given the conditions and one which saw Coral cut him to 12/1 (from 20s) for the Supreme Novices Hurdle that opens this year’s Cheltenham Festival in March.

I think L’ami has a major chance in the Supreme, and will be disappointed if he fails to land the hat-trick this afternoon given that he faces just three rivals.

Of those, Jolly’s Cracked looks the main danger on paper.

The gelding is trained by the in-form Harry Fry and has showed a good attitude in winning his first two starts over hurdles at Ascot.

The six-year-old dug really deep and found plenty in the last of those when beating Jebril by a length after blundering badly two from home, and was value for a bit more than the winning margin in the circumstances.

Jolly’s Cracked it is clearly a smart prospect who is open to significant progress, but his form is nowhere near as strong as L’ami Serge and he will haev to raise his game to another level to take that ones scalp.