Storm can Control the running at Warwick
Storm Control can take charge of the McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Chase at Warwick.
Trainer Kerry Lee has Grand National pretensions with her much-improved eight-year-old - and if that plan is to be feasible, he must demonstrate further evidence of his staying potential as he moves up in trip again this weekend.
Storm Control has been a revelation since being asked to race beyond three miles for the first time, with backto-back Cheltenham wins earning him a rise of 11lb in the handicap.
His progress has been marked by fluent jumping from the front, a running style which should be to his significant advantage over Warwick's notoriously tricky line of fences in the back straight.
Cheltenham has certainly held on fears, so hopes must be high that he can operate equally well here.
Two previous trips to Warwick have been suspi- ciously fruitless, with Storm Control failing to finish in handicaps over hurdles and fences.
He was in nothing like his current form either time, though, and those misadventures are highly likely to be less significant than the market may potentially decide.
Connections will surely not allow the reconnaissance over a new distance to compromise forceful tactics which clearly suit Storm Control so well and have put his rivals out of their comfort zone of late.
There was every indication at Cheltenham last time, in a mesmerising finish, that he will stay further than he already has - because after slowing and wandering on the run-in, he quickened away again in the dying strides once seriously challenged.
It is not difficult to envisage a similar performance here, preferably without another dose of late drama.
Next Destination is already a Grade Two winner over fences, and must therefore concede weight to his two rivals as he bids to follow up at the same level in the McCoy Contractors Hampton Novices' Chase.
Fiddlerontheroof is the obvious danger, but it does not look an insurmountable penalty by any means for the nine-year-old - who signalled on his stable debut for Paul Nicholls when second over hurdles at Wetherby
that he retained much of the ability which made him a dual Grade One winner over timber for Willie
Mullins in his youth.
He then won on his chase debut at Newbury, over just half-a-furlong shorter than this, and can continue making up for time lost to injury which interrupted his career for two years.