Neon Wolf began the season by easing to a 12-length win at Uttoxeter before justifying strong market support to win at Exeter on New Year’s Day.
When last seen, he again vindicated big market confidence when stuffing Elgin by nine lengths at Haydock.
That was a seriously impressive display as he jumped fluently, travelled with real authority and pulled well clear at the finish.
The form of that race looks strong as Elgin has since run with credit to finish second to River Wylde in a pretty decent Grade Two at Kempton before finishing seventh to Labaik in yesterday’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Today’s race will be Neon Wolf’s stiffest task yet but everything he’s done to this point suggests he’ll pass the test with flying colours. He could be a bit special.
There aren’t many jockeys who ride Cheltenham as well as Davy Russell and he can strike with Long Call in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
Trained by Tony Martin, Long Call really struggled in his three appearances before Christmas but took a big step forward when winning at Hereford in January.
He then proved that was no flash in the pan by finishing a distant second to Masterblueyes last month.
Masterblueyes subsequently bolted in to land the Adonis at Kempton and is now a leading contender for the Triumph Hurdle so there was no shame in Long Call being outclassed by him. A big run is anticipated.
Acapella Bourgeois, trained by Sandra Hughes, appeals as the answer in the RSA Chase.
The seven-year-old is in the form of his life at present and won his most recent start, at Navan last month, by a whopping 32 lengths.
The ground today will be very different to what he encountered at Navan and how Acapella Bourgeois acts on quicker ground is a slight worry but odds of 6/1 look fair as the front two in the market, Might Bite and Alpha Des Obeaux, both look opposable.
Elsewhere, Peter Fahey’s Peregrine Run has each-way claims in the Coral Cup while Jessica Harrington’s Someday can land the Champion Bumper.
Peregrine Run (each-way)
Long Call (NB)