DOWN THE HIGHWAY (best price 5-2) couldn’t have been any more impressive on his hurdling debut at Lingfield and having proven that running at a fast pace on soft ground is well within his range, he has the composite requirements for today’s test.

Up against the Champion Bumper eighth, Mercy Mercy Me (sent off 8-13 favourite), the five-year-old gelding was always moving comfortably against his more illustrious market rival and once given his head on the run down to the last, he readily pulling clear of his toiling victims. Indeed, despite the son of Duke Of Marmalade being eased down in the closing stages, he still managed to run a faster circuit time than the 2m handicap hurdle winner Forecast to the tune of four seconds, and with the potential of even more to come from this big, scopey chasing type, it would have to go down as a disappointment if he wasn’t hugely competitive despite taking some similarly progressive novices.


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