Thrilled with recent schooling session
12:35 - Irish Hill
He was useful on the flat in France and won nicely at Taunton on his debut over hurdles for us on December 30 when the leader came down at the final flight. Harry Cobden and I both felt it would have been close but for that fall. Irish Hill's jumping was far from fluent that day but I was thrilled with the way he schooled on Thursday in cheekpieces which he will wear at Taunton. They definitely sharpened him up. The stiffer nature of the track at Ascot is also in his favour.
More patient ride might do the trick
13:10 - Cat Tiger
He was unlucky to be chinned on the line at Doncaster last time after idling in the lead. David Maxwell felt he was in front much too soon on Cat Tiger that day and will be looking to ride a more patient race on him at Ascot.
Step up in trip set to suit
13:45 - Sonigino
He has found life quite tough carrying penalties in two starts since joining us from France where he won twice in deep ground early last summer. The step up in trip to two miles, three furlongs should benefit Sonigino who has a lovely light racing weight. He was very keen last time and needs to learn to settle. I'm trying him in a first time tongue tie and see him as a chaser for next season.
Should run well again despite rise in weights
14:55 - Amour de Nuit
Versatile and consistent he came good at Musselburgh with a fluent success at Musselburgh on New Year's day and remains in top form at home. The more the ground dries out at Ascot the better it will suit Amour de Nuit who has been raised 7lbs by the handicapper to a career high mark of 142. He should again run well.
Will be winning sooner rather than later
16:05 - Complete Unknown
He won a bumper at Thurles on heavy ground in March and has been knocking on the door on all three starts for us in decent company over hurdles. He is going to win one of these sooner rather than later and is right in the mix in this race.
In calmer waters after impossible task last time
12:58 - Outlaw Peter
He won nicely at Worcester on his debut for us and struck into himself next time on his first start over hurdles before struggling to lay a glove on Constitution Hill last time at Sandown. That proved to be an impossible task for Outlaw Peter who is back in calmer waters now. This is a more suitable task for him.
Very fit and well and can take a big step forward
13:33 - Bathsheba Bay
He needed the run at Ascot in October after a long time off and was eventually pulled up. He is very fit and well now and with Tom Buckley taking off a handy 5lbs it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him take a big step forward in this handicap.
Looking for a confidence booster back over hurdles
14:43 - Getaway Trump
He fell at Aintree last spring, hasn't been enjoying jumping fences this season and unseated Bryony Frost at Ludlow last time. So he is back over hurdles here in a bid to try to boost his confidence. It will not be easy for Getaway Trump under top weight but he has plenty of ability if things go his way and all being well he will be back over fences on better ground later in the season.
Obvious chance on hat-trick bid
15:15 - Yala Enki
He is a thorough stayer, very genuine and having won this race for the past two years comes here with an obvious chance of completing the hat-trick. He showed great determination to win at Cheltenham last time and we have kept him fresh for this rather than ask him to carry a big weight in the Coral Welsh National.
Needs to relax in his races
15:53 - Huelgoat
He has run ok in three starts over hurdles and comes here on a mark of 97 for his first handicap. He does tend to be way too keen in his races, needs to relax and hopefully a tongue strap first time can bring out a bit of improvement in him.