DOES HE KNOW (3.35) has plenty in his favour in the 2m 5f novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham.
Kim Bailey sent him out to win convincingly over course and distance last month, with his five-year-old clearly appreciating the good ground. Conditions are again ideal and Does He Know should have the measure of Nicky Henderson’s Chepstow maiden victor Grand Mogul.
MAGIC SAINT (1.50) shoulders top weight in the 2m handicap chase but Bryan Carver takes off a useful 5lb. The Paul Nicholls-trained gelding will strip sharper following a respectable sixth to Nuts Well at Aintree 19 days ago and Magic Saint ran well at this meeting last year when fifth in the BetVictor Gold Cup.
Nicholls has good prospects with Southfield Stone in the 2m 4f novices’ chase, the grey undergoing a wind procedure before making a winning return over course and distance last month when accounting for Coole Cody and Not That Fuisse.
The grey has to concede 3lb to PROTEKTORAT (2.25) and that will be no easy task on the evidence of my selection’s winning comeback at Carlisle, beating the 140-rated Malystic. He jumped right on a couple of occasions and will be suited by the return to this track where he recorded two excellent placed efforts in decent novice hurdle company last season. Mossy Fen is no back-number for Nigel Twiston-Davies and receives a handy 8lb from Southfield Stone.
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