HAVING gained valuable experience from his chasing debut at Exeter last month, BLACK OP (1.25) can now take today’s Betbright Dipper Chase at Cheltenham.
The talented hurdler was over four lengths behind Defi Du Seuil at Exeter but should turn the tables as he now receives 3lb from that rival.
On his hurdling form the Tom George-trained Black Op can confirm his running with On The Blind, whom he beat at the Aintree meeting, where Lostintranslation finished second.
This better grade will prove too much for Crucial Role, an impressive winner at Uttoxeter.
ASO (2.00, nap), an impressive Newbury winner, can defy his 8lb higher mark in the Betbright Handicap Chase.
He has run well on this course in the past and looks the type to improve and his trainer, Venetia Williams, above, has her team in cracking form. With the Paul Nicholls stable on fire Give Me A Copper looks the obvious danger. His career has been restricted to just six outings but he is clearly a talented individual.
The Relkeel Hurdle has lost its gloss with Laurina, the second favourite for the Champion Hurdle, staying in Ireland.
She is now expected to run at Sandown on Saturday.
In her absence WHOLESTONE (3.10, treble), last year’s winner, gets the vote.
He ran a stinker on his latest outing at Newbury when fifth behind Unowhatimeanharry, but that pattern of form
replicates what he did last season before taking today’s prize.
Nicky Henderson’s remarkable run with his novice hurdlers can continue with I CAN’T EXPLAIN (12.15, nb) in the opening Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.
The former Irish point-to-point winner impressed on his hurdling debut at Sandown when beating Phoenix Way.
12.25 HOGAN'S HEIGHT - Winner
1.00 LIFE KNOWLEDGE
1.35 HURRICANE DYLAN
2.10 FOXTROT JULIET
2.45 EUREU DU BOULAY
3.20 NEMEAN LION
12.15 I CAN'T EXPLAIN (N.B) - 2nd
12.50 SHANROE SANTOS
1.25 BLACK OP
2.00 ASO (NAP)
2.35 NAUTICAL NITWIT
3.10 WHOLESTONE (TR)
12.40 EXTRA MAG
1.15 CLIFFS OF DOVER
2.25 LE BOIZELO
3.00 WHITE MOON
3.35 CALL ME SID
12.45 BLU CAVALIER
1.20 POLO THE MUMM
1.55 CEARA BE
3.05 MOLLY CAREW
12.30 LIVA - 2nd
1.05 KNOCK HOUSE
1.40 UPSILON BLEU
2.15 CHICA BUENA
1.10 AMAZING GRAZING
1.45 YOU'RE COOL
2.20 ANGEL PALANAS