Martin Pipe third from last term priced at 6/17.00
Testing ground and stamina key for Wetherby
With the ground likely to be riding pretty testing on Saturday at Cheltenham, conditions will suit the Irish raider Buddy One who has a tough task from top weight and a mark of 147 - but he fully deserves that mark and the rise from his latest performance.
He hacked up for trainer Paul Gilligan last time to win a nice prize at Galway in testing ground and was hit with a hike of 9lbs, but he is used to carrying weights and he travelled so well at Ballybritt, he could still be one for a couple of big handicap prizes.
The 6yo acquitted himself superbly last term at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals, and his third in the Martin Pipe at the time looked another personal best.
He wasn't far behind Iroko and the Martin Pipe tends to throw up strong stayers, so I don't have any issue at all with the 3m test today - up from 2m6f from Galway.
Pretty adaptable with ground, he has a super attitude and I like his chances at 6/17.00.
Over at Wetherby, our second selection is entrusted to Lucinda Russell and Patrick Wadge, and I rate Wadge highly and running in a Conditionals event sees the yard's Readysteadybeau at the top of the market.
Priced at 16/54.20, he should improve for his season opener at Carlisle last time and went well from up with the pace for a long way before getting tired. There's every reason to believe he needed that.
He's a horse who wants genuine winter ground, and he'll certainly get that today with officially soft at Wetherby and as a front-runner, or at least a runner that likes to be up there, he is fairly straightforward.
His one blemish last term was his jumping performance at Ayr in March, but it was a match race and he lacked any sort of fluency before a heavy fall, but I put that down to the ground.
There should be more to come from him this season as he looked a thorough stayer over hurdles in his younger days over 3m.
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