O’Brien wants Perfect response

Fergal O'Brien hopes a return to Cheltenham sparks Perfect Candidate back to his best form in Friday's Unicoin Group Handicap Chase.

Perfect Candidate will attempt to bounce back at Cheltenham

His run last time out at Bangor was his first away from the home of National Hunt racing in eight outings.

During those efforts he rose a total of 16lb in the handicap, winning twice, but he needs to improve markedly for his reappearance run at Bangor.

"He's back on familiar territory and I hope he runs better than at Bangor," said O'Brien.

"He was disappointing there but the ground will have been soft enough, the tight track will have have been tight enough and he's high enough in the handicap.

"We are having a bit of rain in Cheltenham but I hope we don't get too much as he's better on nice ground. He's schooled nicely this week and we're really looking forward to it."

Shutthefrontdoor is another who showed little on his seasonal debut but he will be suited by going back over fences.

The 2014 Irish National winner had a spin over hurdles at Aintree.

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"He should strip fitter having had that run over hurdles, anyway," said Guy Upton, trainer Jonjo O'Neill's assistant.

"He's in good form so we'll see how he gets on. One thing in his favour is the ground ground, he's at home on it and won an Irish National on it so we can't use that as an excuse.

"Hopefully he'll run better than he did last time."

Cogry is due to have his fourth run of the season for the Nigel Twiston-Davies, but has failed to complete on his last three starts.

He fell at the first on his first run, was brought down in a melee at the Open meeting and unseated his rider at the second in the Becher Chase last week.

"He's had absolutely no luck this season and he's such a good jumper," said Twiston-Davies.

"He fell at the first on his first run, then he was bought down in the carnage at Cheltenham's last meeting. We took him to Aintree last week and he only got as far as the second so it's been a bit of a nightmare.

"Anyway, he schooled this morning, jumped perfectly, so we'll have another go.

"That's why we always like to have bases covered with lots of entries."

Philip Hobbs' Sausalito Sunrise heads the weights from former Grade One performer Ballynagour.

Richard Johnson rides Sausalito Sunrise and told his Betway blog: "Sausalito Sunrise delighted me with his reappearance run here last month and he must have a decent chance even with top weight in the handicap chase.

"He jumped and travelled really well that day and just got a bit tired at the second last. He's a great big horse and that run would have put him spot on for this."

Colin Tizzard runs Theatre Guide and Bally Longford, while Warren Greatrex is represented by Out Sam.

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