Reserve Tank failed to live up to expectations when runner-up last time out but, now dropped back in trip following a break, looks worth siding with to resume winning ways in the 2m 4f Grade 2 Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Saturday (13:15).
This Colin Tizzard trained six-year-old has won five of his nine starts under Rules and developed into a top class hurdler last season when winning Grade 1 contests at Aintree and Punchestown in fine style.
Those successes marked Reserve Tank as a hugely exciting prospect, especially as he is a strapping sort and built to come into his own over fences.
It was therefore somewhat disappointing that he got turned over on his chase debut at Chepstow in October when sent off odds-on and beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Jarveys Plate.
However, Reserve Tank was not given a hard time once it was clear he would not be winning.
Winner at Pendil Novices’ Chase venue
He then duly showed the benefit of that experience next time up when running out an impressive 3 3/4 lengths winner of a Grade 2 contest over this trip at Wincanton.
Reserve Tank made mistakes and ran flat when a four-length second of five to Danny Whizzbang in the Grade 2 John Francome Novices’ Chase over 2m 7f at Newbury when last seen in action back in November.
He clearly wasn’t himself that day, so it looks a shrewd more by connections to give him a spell on the sidelines to freshen-up.
Dropping back to 2m 4f is also a big plus as Reserve Tank is unbeaten in three starts over it.
The son of Jeremy is also unbeaten at this venue. At odds of 5/2 with BetVictor, it makes Reserve Tank look the one to be on.
Ch’tibello fancied for Kingwell glory
In the the re-arranged 2m Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle after rain washed-out Wincanton recently (14:25), Ch’tibello looks decent value to land the spoils.
This Harry Skelton trained nine-year-old enjoyed his finest hour at last year’s Cheltenham Festival when landing a gamble in the ultra-competitive County Hurdle.
Ch’tibello came from off the pace and found plenty for pressure to fend off the challenge of We Have A Dream by 1 1/2 lengths.
Connections then decided to pitch him into Grade 1 company for his final start of the campaign at the Grand National Festival.
The son of Sageburg ran a stormer to finish a 1 1/2 lengths third to Supasundae in the Aintree Hurdle.
Ch’tibello finished just half-a-length behind the runner-up and dual Champion Hurdle victor Buveur D’Air. He also pulled 31 lengths clear of the useful Summerville Boy.
Skelton has given Ch’tibello just two starts this season. He again ran very well on return to action at Cheltenham when a keeping on 1 1/2 lengths third of eight to Call Me Lord in the Grade 2 International Hurdle.
Ch’tibello faced a stiff task in trying to give the winner 4lb and the second home Ballyandy has since come out and beat Pentland Hills, who finished fifth, in the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock.
It’s fair to say that he was then not at his best 12 days later when fifth of 10 to Epatante in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle over this course and distance on Boxing Day, but that race may well have come too quickly.
This represents a return to calmer waters, so having been given a break, Ch’tibello looks well-worth a wager here at 4/1 with Coral.
Hat-trick seeking Buzz the Dovecote bet
Trainer Nicky Henderson has won the 2m Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle a record eight times and Buzz looks to hold outstanding claims of adding to that tally in this year’s renewal of the Grade 2 contest (15:02).
This six-year-old was a smart performer on the level when in the care of Hughie Morrison and is unbeaten in two starts over the obstacles since joining the Seven Barrows maestro.
In the first of those at Taunton, Buzz only had to be pushed out to beat Galahad Quest by a neck.
He scored with more in hand than the winning margin suggests and the runner-up has since landed a Grade 2 at Cheltenham.
That gives the form a solid look. The son of Derby winner Motivator has since followed-up in good style when again scoring by a neck in an 19-runner contest at Doncaster.
Under a confident ride from Jeremiah McGrath, Buzz jumped well and travelled strongly throughout.
He was then produced to take up the running on the long run-in after the last flight was omitted to assert close home and beat Glory And Fortune.
Buzz was again value for more than the winning distance. The runner-up is no slouch having previously run well when fifth to the hugely exciting Chantry House at Cheltenham.
It was a most taking performance and one which suggested Buzz should be more than capable of winning a race of this nature on Pendil Novices’ Chase day.
This sharp track should also be ideal for him. It can help Buzz to use his flat speed to maximum effect at the business end of affairs.
At 11/4 with William Hill, he thus looks a worthy favourite to take the step up in class in his stride and land the hat-trick for his in-form handler.