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Karezak can rule for King at Chesptow

Karezak looks to hold solid claims of landing a competitive renewal of thee coral.co.uk Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstown today (1.55).

The Alan King trained gelding overcame mistakes to make a winning debut over the obstacles over course and distance when showing a good attitude to beat Golden Doyen by a head despite stumbling badly at the last.

The three-year-old then lost little in defeat when shouldering a penalty for that success and failing by just a 1/4 of a length to give 6lb to Old Guard at Newbury.

Karezak made a costly mistake at the final flight at the Berkshire venue before rallying strongly, and backed that run up with a really solid run to finish a 1 1/4 length runner-up to the highly regarded Hargam in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham earlier in the month.

The son of Azamour again made a mistake at the last before losing vital ground by drifting badly left on the run-in, but it was a great effort in trying to concede 3lb to the winner and the pair pulled 29 lengths clear of the third home Stars Over The Sea.

That gives the form a very strong look in what is traditional a high class contest, and a reproduction of that run is going to make Karezak very tough to beat – especially if the fitting of the blinkers for the first time enable him to sharpen up his jumping.

The obvious dangers are the aforementioned duo of Golden Doyen and Old Guard.

The former is trained by Philip Hobbs and has won both his subsequent starts since going down narrowly to Karezak on hurdling debut.

In the last of those at Cheltenham, Golden Doyen stayed on strongly to give Hargam 4lb and a 3/4 of a length beating, and on a line through the runner-up there is little between him and the selection.

However, the form doesn’t look look as strong as Karezak’s runner-up effort behind Hargham and a bigger danger may well be the unexposed Old Guard.

The Paul Nicholl’s trained son of Notnowcato scored with a bit more than the neck margin suggests when beating Karezak at Newbury, but now meets that rival on 6lb worse terms.

That suggests that Old Guard will struggle to confirm the placings, but the three-year-old looks the type who has plenty more to offer and given connections looks a major player if progressing as expected.