By Brian Hughes
I’m at Carlisle today for five rides.
Hawk High, a four-time hurdles winner, including the Fred Winter for me at Cheltenham in 2014, returns after 18 months off the track to make his chasing debut in this five-runner affair. I expect him to run a big race today.
Delire D’Estruval with experience in both jumping spheres is the chief rival.
I’m on Mahler Lad, a winner of three chases, including one for me at Towcester in May when he battled back in great fashion to beat Riddleston.
He has his comeback run after a five-month break following a disappointing outing at Hexham in June. Ange Des Malbereaux and Forthefunofit will make life difficult.
My horse stays well and a repeat of his penultimate run would give him a good each-way chance.
Spin The Coin, a maiden after four hurdle runs, looked set to get off the mark at the track in March when coming down three lengths clear at the last.
He is fit, fresh and well and should put in a good performance today.
Zabeel Star, an easy winner at the track last week, will be a difficult opponent.
Theatre Act, a three times hurdle winner, finished fifth on her last run at Hexham over two and a half miles in early October.
She is still well handicapped on her best form and I hope the addition of hood and cheekpieces will have the desired effect today.
Scottshill and One Night In Milan may be the main threats. I hope the extra headgear will get my horse into the frame.
Mr Monochrome, a bumper and hurdles winner, has his first start for the McCain yard after 13 months off the track.
He carries top weight and needs a good round of jumping to get into contention today. His first attempt at the larger obstacles was very disappointing.
It is a weak race with the main dangers Too Much Too Soon and Amber Gambler.