Trainer David Bridgwater is looking forward to giving Ryan Moore the leg up on Cohesion in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships (2.10pm, 17 entries) at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14.
Cohesion will be tackling two miles for the first time after a gutsy length and a quarter victory over Winterlude (Jennie Candlish) in a 12-furlong class two Tapeta handicap at Wolverhampton on March 6.
The four-year-old cost connections 85,000 guineas at Tattersalls Sales in October after winning two of his four starts in France for trainer David Smaga and owner Khalid Abdullah.
Bridgwater, who is based in Gloucestershire, south of Stow-on-the-Wold, said today: “Cohesion looks a good horse, doesn’t he?
“We initially bought him to go hurdling but by the time he was ready to run it was the wrong time of year for hurdling really.
“We had our eye on Cheltenham (Festival in March) and he could have won a hurdle race before then, but mentally I don’t think he would have been ready to go to Cheltenham on the back of one run.
“We basically said that he is decent horse on the Flat so let’s give him a couple of runs on the All-Weather and then go hurdling next season. He then ran a really good race first time at Lingfield and has gone on from there.
“As soon as he steps up to two miles, I think you will see a better horse again. I would be gobsmacked if he doesn’t stay.
“I think he deserves to be one of the favourites judged on his form last time and then you have got the Ryan Moore factor as well.
“Ryan doesn’t have anything else in the race so I rung his agent up and he said Ryan is happy to take the ride. Cohesion is actually Oisin Murphy’s ride but he is going up to Newcastle to ride South Seas.
“When Oisin won on Cohesion at Wolverhampton, he actually said there and then that he is an Ebor horse. We will see what happens on Saturday because I was thinking more of a Plumpton novice hurdle horse!
“But he is clearly talented and I would be disappointed if he isn’t in the first three on Friday.”
Cohesion is a 7/1 chance with race sponsor Betway, while Godolphin’s Natural Scenery (Saeed bin Suroor) is the 7/2 market leader after success in good style on his last two starts at Newcastle.
Prince of Arran (Charlie Fellowes), Watersmeet (Mark Johnston) and Winning Story (Saeed bin Suroor) are 6/1 co-second favourites. Prince Of Arran was fourth to Crimean Tartar in the Listed 32Red Wildflower Stakes over 12 furlongs at Kempton Park in November, while Watersmeet and Winning Story were first and second in a Fast-Track Qualifier at Chelmsford City on March 2.
Pinzolo (Ismail Mohammed, 13/2 with Betway) could step up in trip after finishing second to Convey in the G3 Betway Winter Derby over a mile and a half, as could Petite Jack (Neil King, 10/1) after winning his last four starts at Lingfield Park over 10 and 12 furlongs.
Other interesting contenders include First Mohican (Alan King, 16/1) and Isharah (Mark Johnston) (pictured), who were first and second in the final Fast-Track Qualifier at Lingfield Park on March 25, plus Irish challenger Pique Sous (Willie Mullins, 16/1), winner of the 2014 Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot.