Cheltenham Festival form to the fore as Ozzie makes chasing debut at Warwick
County Hurdle third Ozzie The Oscar makes his first public appearance over fences in what looks a tight and competitive Integral Novices' Chase (1.50) over two miles at Warwick.
The Philip Hobbs-trained six-year-old had no answer to The New One when fifth in the Welsh Champion Hurdle on his comeback last month but tops the five runners in terms of achievements over hurdles.
“We thought the ground at Ffos Las was probably soft enough, whereas there's no rain forecast for Warwick so it might dry out a little bit,” said Hobbs.
“Shantou Rock has a slightly higher rating than us, but Ozzie The Oscar has the build to make a chaser and schooling has gone well so I hope he'll run well.”
Shantou Rock must concede 5lb for his debut chasing success, having put The Unit and Diego Du Charmil firmly in their place at Newton Abbot.
Positively Dylan faced a stiff enough task on his chasing debut when third to Sceau Royal but is only 1lb behind Ozzie The Oscar on the book having shown good progression in three starts over hurdles for Evan Williams over the summer.
Orr mining for gold at Dundalk
Oisin Orr, who was crowned Ireland's champion apprentice last weekend, teams up with the Dermot McLoughlin-trained Commander Won in the Crowne Plaza Leading Jockey and Trainer Championship Apprentice Handicap over 1m4f at Dundalk (7.30).
Orr, 20, will be partnering the five-year-old for the first time and McLoughlin said yesterday: "Commander Won is in good order. He won over the course and distance two runs back and ran well since when finishing fourth over the trip at Leopardstown. The one negative is the draw (12) but, hopefully, he'll be able to overcome it."
High Jinx 'bouncing' into French foray
Nine-year-old High Jinx heads a three-strong raiding party from Britain in the Listed Prix Denisy (1.35) at Saint-Cloud.
Last seen when eight and a quarter lengths fourth behind Vazirabad in the Group 1 Prix du Cadran, High Jinx has no penalty and is rated 5lb clear of his nearest rival Adler, who has been supplemented by Markus Klug after chasing home Mark Johnston’s Renfrew Street in a Cologne Listed race.
High Jinx has put in several decent performances this season in Group company and trainer Tim Easterby said: "It’s the right race for him, he is absolutely bouncing and should run well."
Andrew Balding has called up Hayley Turner for the ride on recent Nottingham winner St Mary’s, while William Haggas saddles Mistress Quickly.
Andre Fabre is represented by a trio of unexposed three-year-olds, but on the book the best of the home team is Against Rules, who was a good third to Canndera in the Prix Scaramouche over 1m6f here in October.
King hopeful Bull can come right
Inn The Bull made a fine start to his conversion from the Flat to hurdling when winning on his only attempt at Ludlow last October and then backing that up when returning to his new sphere at Worcester in September.
Things didn't pan out at Huntingdon, when he could only manage third behind Captain Felix on his handicap debut, but Alan King believes there may have been excuses that day and sends the son of Lope De Vega to Warwick for the Trail Racing UK for Free Now Handicap Hurdle (2.20).
"He won well at Worcester but then seemed always to be in top gear when slightly disappointing at Huntingdon. He may not have been quite right and I'm sure he's better than that."
Read the thoughts of Alan King every Wednesday in the Racing Post Weekender