Buywise’s demons can finally be exorcised on one of the biggest National Hunt stages of the autumn, the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
Evan Williams’ perpetual head-scratcher seems to always arrive on a racecourse with questions to answer, as those who have followed him over fences will solemnly testify.
But few would dare suggest he is not good enough to win a race like this, and now might be the time he becomes a man.
It is a big ‘if’, of course, as his fencing has hitherto been slipshod when it really matters.
One only needs to watch a rerun of last season’s Paddy Power to be reminded of that fact, as he jumped scruffily yet was still only beaten three and a quarter lengths by Caid Du Berlais.
There were, though, distinct signs of improvement on his seasonal debut at Aintree last month when he actually turned in a quite lovely performance in the Old Roan Chase.
Buywise never looked like winning, but he looked as purposeful and as switched-on as he had done for a long time to finish a reasonably close third behind Sound Investment and Wishfull Thinking.
That run will have done him the power of good, not least from a fitness point of view, while he returns to Cheltenham just 2lb higher than in last year’s race.
With the ground drying nicely - something Williams has stressed is a prerequisite - the eight-year-old has enough raw quality to make it count.
Likeable stayer Sego Success should cope with the demands of the Murphy Group Handicap Chase.
Sego Success needs to step up, especially in the jumping department, but trainer Alan King is convinced his inmate is a lot more forward for this assignment than at Chepstow.
* Selections -
Cheltenham: 12.40 Leoncavallo, 1.15 Katgary, 1.50 Sego Success, 2.25 BUYWISE (NAP), 3.00 Un Ace, 3.35 Rock The Kasbah, 4.05 Copper Kay.
Uttoxeter: 12.30 Captain Chaos, 1.05 Loch Garman, 1.40 Kylemore Lough, 2.15 Chantara Rose, 2.50 Loughalder, 3.25 Neworld, 4.00 Bacchanel.
Wetherby: 12.20 Mardale, 12.55 Arzal, 1.30 Who You For, 2.05 Simply Wings, 2.40 Bowdler’s Magic, 3.15 Take A Break, 3.50 Silver Dragon.
Lingfield: 12.15 Race Day, 12.50 Brasted, 1.25 Fast Sprite, 2.00 The Rectifier, 2.35 Polybius, 3.10 Battalion, 3.45 Zubaidah.
Wolverhampton: 5.45 Flowing Clarets, 6.15 Top Offer, 6.45 Dark Side Princess, 7.15 Ripoll, 7.45 Glance My Way, 8.15 Bromyard, 8.45 Call Me Crockett, 9.15 Zed Candy Girl.
Double: Buywise and Sego Success.