The national hunt season is starting to ramp up a little now and this is a nice looking handicap hurdle on good to soft going at Warwick.
Phillip Hobbs and Richard Johnson team up with the top weight Resolution Bay who was a useful second last time out over 19 furlongs at Fontwell. His breeding suggests that the extra two furlongs here today could be beneficial and his last two races have looked like he has been crying out for a longer distance. He does have to carry an extra three pounds here today, however, he won from a two pound higher mark in April so it shouldn't be a problem. Hobbs has an excellent long-term record here at Warwick, winning with almost a quarter of his runners over the past five years.
Sutter's Mill, trained by Evan Williams, has been in good form of late, winning two of his last three races and finishing second in the other. They were all over trips of three miles plus, however, and it remains to be seen whether he will be as effective over today's shorter trip. He does appear to relish a stamina test and I wouldn't be surprised to see him a little outpaced through the middle part of this race.
The Jonjo O'Neill trained Quarenta has been running consistently without getting his head in front and it was a fine performance last time out at Worcester where he was caught near the line. That race was over 23 furlongs and he didn't quite see the trip out so a drop of two furlongs may be beneficial to him. He has been hit with a five pound rise in the weights for that second place which feels a little harsh, but he is just a five-year-old so should have plenty of improvement in him.
Milord has been tried over plenty of different distances and he even had a spin on the flat at Goodwood in June. He has a couple of wins to his name over this distance but is still four pounds higher than for his last win and was well beaten when last seen over hurdles, which was a course and distance effort in May. He will need the break to have rejuvenated him to get involved in this.
Aviator has been rated as high as 126, but came back from a long layoff last month and although he petered out in the final furlong he ran well for a long way over an inadequate trip. We can assume that race has sharpened him up and he could be dangerous over this trip from a mark of 118.
Resolution Bay - 3 points @ 7/4