The exciting Oscars Den steps up in grade tomorrow, having added two novice hurdle wins at Uttoxeter and Carlisle to his bumper success at Lingfield Park last term. Unbeaten under rules so far, he faces stiff competition tomorrow, with several smart novice hurdlers in opposition.
Be Bop Boru (pictured left, at Cheltenham earlier this season) has been a revelation this spring, winning three times in succession in handicap company at Wincanton, Newcastle and Sedgefield. He has been raised a total of 21lbs for those wins, but goes into tomorrow’s contest in great form and I am very hopeful that there remains plenty to come from him.
His participation looked in doubt, with 23 needing to come out in order for him to get a run, but thankfully that has happened and Richard Johnson, who was on board for his first win, is back on.
In the concluding conditional jockeys handicap hurdle, we run both Figaro and Yes Daddy. The former ran subsequent Grade 1 winner Captain Cutter close at Market Rasen last December before finishing runner-up on his handicap debut, an effort that was followed by a battling win at Musselburgh in February. Pulled up on unsuitably soft ground ten days later, he has had a good break since and I am sure he will appreciate the return to a sound surface.
Yes Daddy was making just his second start for us when winning comfortably at Southwell last month. Unfortunately, the handicapper took a dim view and raised him 12lbs for that success, but Alan Johns is able to claim 10lbs and, after just 10 career starts, he remains open to further progress.