Haydock preview: War Singer should shine in handicap hurdle (14:10)
None more so than former Supreme Novice Hurdle winner Cinders And Ashes, who has had his fair share of injury problems, including when injuring his pelvis during the 2013 Champion Hurdle when pulled up.
Since then, he has raced twice, firstly in the County Hurdle where a bad mistake at the second ended any chance and this season in the Scottish County Hurdle where he looked laboured in eighth. It’s hard to see him improving on that.
Dark Dune benefited from a change of tactics last time out under an excellent ride from James Reveley at Newcastle when beating Midnight Game on Eider Chase day. He only went up three pounds for that effort, and a repeat would see him going very close with Reveley on board again.
Satanic Beat returns from a break but was in good form at the back end of last year with wins at Market Rasen and Kelso. Now off a seven pound higher mark, he may need this outing after a six month break.
A Boy Named Suzi has shown some useful hurdle form having beaten a useful yardstick in The Grey Taylor at Wetherby, although the winner was giving away a double penalty. He was fourth last time out in the Scottish County Hurdle behind Retrieve and is still relatively unexposed over hurdles.
Handiwork hasn’t raced since October when winning a handicap on the flat at Catterick in taking style, and proved himself to be a more than useful juvenile hurdler including when seventh to Hawk High in last season’s Fred Winter. He found the step up in class too much when unplaced behind Guitar Pete at Aintree, so is another that might need the run, but he can be competitive off his current mark of 130.
The selection would be War Singer. Whilst he has only won once over hurdles, he has shown some fair handicap form this season when chasing home Snake Eyes at Sandown and Sleepy Haven at Kempton, where he kicked clear before getting swallowed up late on. The run at Ffos Las on desperate ground can be forgiven and, with a more patient ride back on better ground, he holds solid claims with a good jockey booking in Noel Fehily.