The former, in particular, has been very highly spoken of and his debut victory over course and distance back in August gave plenty of reason to suspect that he could be the real deal.
With connections not wishing their charge to have a hard race in testing conditions just weeks before the 2000 Guineas, we’ll now have to wait until Newmarket to find out just how good he is.
In his absence, Richard Hannon’s Bronterre ought to be very hard to beat.
He has the best form in the book, has won on testing ground in the past, and the stable is already flying. Perhaps he would have been good enough to deal with Top Offer, or perhaps not, but in the forecast favourite’s absence, he is the one to be on.
Punters looking for a flyer in the Fred Darling (2.35) could do worse than have a speculative bet on Electrelane, outsider of two runners for trainer Ralph Beckett. The daughter of Dubawi was an easy winner of a modest event at Chepstow on her debut before being beaten little more than a couple of lengths in a Listed Race in testing ground at Saint Cloud.
She’s proven on soft ground, is open to plenty of improvement and, unlike a number of her rivals, she should appreciate a stiff test over the trip.
Her stable companion Moonstone Magic was a runaway winner on her racing debut little more than a week ago and she’s the choice of Jim Crowley. She looked good on that occasion and should go well but odds of around 12-1 are too tempting to pass up on each-way selection Electrelane.
Nicky Henderson has never won the Scottish Grand National (3.25 Ayr). It may sound surprising, but it probably shouldn’t be because he’s never won the Irish, English or Welsh equivalent either.
It’s not a statistic that I would allow colour my judgement of his horses running in these races as the rate at which [the Seven Barrows boss is mopping up everything else suggests it’s only a matter of time before he adds a Grand National section to his CV.
Be There In Five may not be classiest or most straightforward of his inmates but that’s reflected in odds of 25-1 and it’s worth taking a chance that he can put in a big run off an attractive mark.
Although pulled up in last year’s race, much was against him there and his most recent effort, when seventh in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham, suggests the step back up to this demanding distance is exactly what he needs.
If his jumping holds up, he should give punters a good run for their ‘hard-earned’.
Former winner Merigo should be hard to kick out of the frame.