There’s no denying FLY TO MARS (best price 9-2) took a proper caning from some above-average types at Kempton last time out and he’s hard to fancy on that form, but if you can overlook that tame effort and take into account his performance over today’s course the time before, then there’s a hope for optimism that Colin Tizzard’s gelding can cause a little surprise.

Only run out of the argument by the smart Third Wind at the Sussex track on his hurdling debut back in December, the five-year-old was quietly fancied to at least hold his own in that much tougher assignment on Boxing Day, but after a series on mistakes and lurches to his left over practically every flight, but the time he’d rounded the home bend, the laws of physics suggested he was always going to fall through the back of the TV. Back over a left-handed track, hopefully returning to an anti-clockwise circumference will eradicate those cost-worthy tendencies and if so, the son of Schiaparelli has enough ability to make some sort of race of it with the big two in the betting.


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