With three winners to her name from her last nine runners, Sue Smith will be hoping Ryan Mania can add another win for her in the Stayers Hurdle Series Final at Haydock on Saturday.
"The step up trip has proven to be a genius move from Smith, and his versatility on the ground is no doubt another factor as to why he has been well supported all week."
Sue Smith heads into the Easter bank holiday weekend with a trio of chances, and she'll be confident after an impressive couple of weeks on the track.
All three head to Haydock on Saturday, while it has also been announced the recent Cheltenham Festival winner, Vintage Clouds, will compete in the Scottish Grand National on 17 April.
One of her recent winners was a comfortable victory at Haydock in a Class 3 Handicap Chase, where Informateur won by four lengths with Ryan Mania on board.
Unfortunately, Smith was unable to land a double on the day with Mania, as her hot favourite in Jayaaah was touched off in second place.
But, if you add Kauto D'Amour's success at Newcastle into the mix, it's been a very good period for the Cheltenham Festival winning trainer.
High expectations for Small Present
The six-year-old is currently your 5/1 favourite, with 17 runners entered. It isn't hard to see why Small Present is well fancied, having won his last two outings over this distance at Catterick and Doncaster.
In fact, his form since September 2020 when returning from a 235-day break reads 2-2-2-4-4-1-1.
Both his victories have been his first attempts over Saturday's distance, once on heavy ground and the other on good. The step up trip has proven to be a genius move from Smith, and his versatility on the ground is no doubt another factor as to why he has been well supported all week.
The Doncaster performance was noticeably eye catching. Stepping up into a Class 2 contest, there were some doubts over whether this would be too competitive. Those questions were soon eradicated, as the six-year-old managed to hold off Jamie Snowden's Skandiburg, who put up a strong challenge on the run in.
Third place, Getareason, was a further 23 lengths behind and joint favourite, Some Chaos, a pound lighter than Some Present, finished almost 35 lengths behind the winner.
Richard Johnson did the steering at Doncaster, but Mania was previously on board at Catterick, and with the jockey already returning two winners for Smith this month, there aren't any doubts over the partnership thriving once more.
Regarding Ruth, Small Present's closest rival in the market, was a surprise 22/1 winner at Newbury from the front at the beginning of March, but the seven-year-old wasn't hard pressed for the lead on that occasion, and many would have noted those tactics.
Trainer Lucy Wadham has only managed one win from her last 16 runners as well, which was the odds-on Potters Legend in a very weak Veterans Handicap Chase over at Fakenham.
A mention for Vintage Clouds
Last year's runner up in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival managed to forge ahead and go one better this year, defying odds of 33/1 to prove there was still plenty of racing ability in the eleven-year-old.
He duly obliged at the Festival, which is why it is no surprise for Smith to give her veteran a chance in the Scottish Grand National.
The 11-year-old will compete against this season's unbeaten Galvin, as well as do battle once again with Aye Right, with recent Eider Chase winner Sam's Adventure also entered.
Currently at 16/1, Vintage Clouds will once again have it all to do but one thing for sure is that Sue Smith will have her veteran primed and ready to run his race.