Aintree 2015: E-Lites Top Novices’ Hurdle preview (14:15)
Glingerburn has looked the real deal in winning all four of his starts over hurdles, and can complete the five-timer in the Grade 2 E-Lites Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree (14:15).
The Nicky Richards trained gelding has a high cruising speed and potent turn of foot, and could not have been more impressive when easily bearing the highly regarded Bristol De Mai by 3 1/4 lengths last time out in a Grade 2 contest at Kelso.
After being held-up at the rear, Glingerburn made smooth headway on the bit three from home before being produced at the last to quicken clear on the run-in.
Jockey Brian Harding only had to shake-up the seven-year-old to get the job done with the minimum of fuss, and it was a top class performance as Glingerburn was giving the winner 9lb.
That form sets a clear standard in this and, off an official rating of 152, Glingerburn has 10lb and upwards in hand on his rivals.
It is going to make the progressive son of King’s Theatre very hard to beat, and another plus is that Glingerburn comes into the contest a fresh horse as connections decided to swerve the Cheltenham Festival to save him for this.
Qewy was far from disgraced when fith of 12 to Douvan in the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and looks the obvious danger.
The gelding was a smart performer on the flat when trained in Ireland by John Oxx and, after joining John Ferguson, shaped with bags of promise on his hurdling debut when third in a Grade 2 affair at Haydock.
Qewy then duly improved for the experience when running out a very impressive winner at Newbury, showing a smart turn of foot to beat Cardinal Walter by six lengths.
The five-year-old was then pitched into the deep end at Cheltenham but, after getting outpaced three from homre, stuck to the task well to be beaten just over 18 lengths by a very smart prospect indeed.
To me, the return to a flatter track should suit and, with AP McCoy in the saddle, Qewy looks sure to make his presence felt now eased in grade.