You cannot take anything away from Yala Enki’s impressive win in the fog at Haydock where he blew his rivals away by nine lengths. The French import has had two good runs this season, but there have to be questions around the ground coming up quicker than ideal for him. He has won twice on good to soft in his career, once in France and once at Exeter when landing a novice hurdle.
His rise of 10lb is about right, if he can defy this hike he has to go close again, Charlie Deutsch keeps the ride who has a 100% record with the horse. Nigel Twiston-Davies has Blaklion declared here and he has bypassed Kempton to run here. The 40/1 quote for next years Gold Cup would look generous if he manages to emulate his Towton Novices Chase win over course and distance back in February when he beat the likes of Native River and Definitly Red.
I do not think I have seen DEFINITLY RED run a bad race for Brian Ellison. His seasonal debut when landing a £12k race at Carlisle has been franked by Onefitxall who was runner up that afternoon, he has gone on to land a valuable race at Newbury last month off a mark of 133. He has been penalized 9lb for that success and ran extremely well off 142 when third in a Listed event at Newcastle when he was behind Otago Trail and Bristol De Mai who were much higher rated. He has a big race in him for sure and the way he was staying on at Newcastle suggests that he will get the extra trip here this afternoon.
Ballyculla returns to the course that saw him win for the first time in a year, The Warren Greatrex nine year old gets into this off the same mark of 136, but he was not convincing when pulling up in this company in the Scottish Grand National. His tendency to make constant jumping errors could cost him once more but he is still off a reasonable mark. Peter Bowen’s Henri Parry Morgan ran no sort of a race when he finished midfield behind winner Native River. He was twelve lengths behind Blaklion that day and just over ten lengths behind Theatre Guide who has since won the Unicoin Handicap Chase at Cheltenham. He is still 13lb higher than when he last won at Uttoxeter back in March, has a lot on his plate to over come his recent poor run.
My selection will be Definitly Red for Brian Ellison to give the yard a Christmas winner, the yard have been among the winners in the past fortnight and look to have a likely type in this.
DEFINITLY RED : 2pt Win @ 5/1 (BOG)