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Pauling: Boreham Bill in the best form we've had him in

Ben Pauling: trainer is expecting a bold show from Boreham Bill
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3.40 Ascot
Neptune Investment Management Championship Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Listed) | 4-6yo | 1m7¾f | RUK

Recent history suggests this is a race to record and watch back as some familiar names have run here before going on to much better things, including last year's runner-up Ballyandy.

The Weatherbys Champion Bumper winner lost out to 16-1 Coeur Blimey 12 months ago, while the year before Supasundae returned the same price after beating a field containing Yanworth and Thistlecrack.

Of this year's field, last month's Haydock winner Claimantakinforgan – a commentator's nightmare – is held in high regard by trainer Nicky Henderson, who has a 20 per cent strike-rate (16-82) in bumpers at the course in the last five seasons.

Aiming to go one better

Boreham Bill sets the standard on form after finishing second in a similar event at Cheltenham last month when he had the reopposing Imperial Eloquence three-quarters of a length back in third.

Favourite's graveyard

Favourites have a terrible record with not a single winner in the last eight runnings, while there have been a total of three 16-1 winners during that time.


What they say

Colin Tizzard, trainer of Bang On Frankie
He is a beautiful young horse and we'll probably go novice hurdling next whatever happens. This might be a little ambitious but he is a chap who works well.

Ben Pauling, trainer of Boreham Bill
We've always liked him a huge amount and he ran very well at Cheltenham when he gave away a lot of ground to find the better ground. He's as tough as they come and we've got him in the best form we've had him in.

Alan King, trainer of Chato
He won on his debut at Uttoxeter in July and then had to give 16lb when he was second at Worcester in August to a horse who has come out and won again since. We gave him a break after that and he’s just back, but is ready to run.

Nicky Henderson, trainer of Claimantakinforgan
He did it very well at Haydock on horrible ground last time. He's a horse that has gears – you wouldn't be able to find gears on heavy ground and I hope the better ground is going to suit him. I thought about going over hurdles but I've decided to have a look at a better bumper and see how he progresses.

Fergal O'Brien, trainer of Imperial Eloquence
We like our fella and are hopeful of a nice run. He finished third at Cheltenham, one place behind Boreham Bill, and hopefully he's improved a little bit for it.

Kim Bailey, trainer Minella Warrior and Silver Kayf
We're very happy with Minella Warrior, he's a nice horse and I like him. Whatever he does this season, he'll be a novice chaser for next term. Silver Kayf has performed well in his two runs and we're gearing him up for the DBS Spring Sales Bumper at Newbury in March, which he ran in last season. He's also a proper chaser in the making.

He did it very well at Haydock and is a horse that has gears
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