“The course stalwart Ardrea Cross comes here in good form, having won comfortably on his penultimate start, and he again ran very well when third here last time considering the extended 2m4f in soft ground would not be his optimum.
“I like the angle of him stepping down in trip on better ground (a lot of his best form has come on soft/heavy, but he has fair runs on good and good to soft) but let’s get back to the fact he effectively races off 119 here, instead of his current mark of 100.”
“I’m expecting Dusart to prove the best horse in the race. He is the market leader at the time of writing at 3.5 which I still think looks a fair price about an unexposed seven-year-old with an awful lot of improvement still to come.
“Dusart has had a very uncharacteristic career so far for a horse trained by Nicky Henderson. He began life over hurdles where he won at Newbury in November 2020, overturning Soaring Glory in the process. He returned from five months off the track to run in the Grade 1 Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree on just his second ever start. He ran a blinder to finish third behind Belfast Banter and Do Your Job considering how green he still was, understandably so.”
“Sabrina came good in a first time tongue tie at Wincanton on her handicap debut over a trip a month ago. Although she was a bit green and raced lazily at times she was doing all her best work at the finish and probably won with a bit in hand. As long as the ground at Newbury isn’t too quick I expect her to run tidily from 2lbs out of the handicap.
“The one I like in the Scottish National is the Christian Williams-trained Win My Wings. The nine-year-old has only had seven runs over fences and had long shaped as though being worth a try at a marathon trip prior to getting her chance to do so in the Eider Chase at Newcastle last time.
“She duly produced a much-improved performance to win in great style. She jumped and travelled with notable fluency and could be called the winner a long way from home. The biggest issue that Ryan Mania had was that she was travelling so well that she ended up in front too soon and idled throughout the closing stages.”
“Stormy Judge ended last season with an impressive victory at Navan (3m). Only twice raced since and really caught the eye when fifth in 3m handicap at Naas 20 days ago. Irish challenger is brother to last year’s third Mister Fogpatches and a bold showing is very much on the cards now his stamina is drawn out further.”