Racing: Tricky fences to overcome, but Missile looks right on target
Saturday 20 December 1997
Unguided Missile: Gave a below-par performance behind Suny Bay last time but was found to have a viral infection. Second to Go Ballistic in this race last year, Unguided Missile has the services of Richard Dunwoody and can defy top weight.
Go Ballistic: Pulled up after twisting a shoe off behind Suny Bay at Haydock. John O'Shea reports his stable star in fine fettle but he has failed to win since landing this race a year ago.
Callisoe Bay: It took a while for the penny to drop but this giant of a horse looks a formidable opponent now he has got his act together. The injured Jamie Osborne, his regular pilot, thinks he will stay the trip and his handicap mark puts him in with a clear chance.
Harwell Lad: The faster the ground, the better, for last season's Whitbread Gold Cup winner, who goes well for his amateur rider, Rupert Nuttall. Harwell Lad will strip fitter for his recent run and may get among the prize money.
Call It A Day: There has to be a question mark over this useful young chaser's fitness on his first outing on the season in such hot company.
Cool Dawn: Robert Alner's second string is a sound-jumping front-runner but looks out of his depth.
Conclusion: If UNGUIDED MISSILE is back to his best, he should give his opponents a good hiding. However, this is a tough jumping track and a few may come unstuck down the hill on the second circuit. A clear round should see Callisoe Bay in the frame. Harwell Lad could also run well if the ground is fast enough.
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