BINOCULAR can get his champion hurdle campaign back on track and he should be too good for Dee Ee Williams and Marodima. Third in last year's Champion Hurdle, Binocular's season this year has proved an unmitigated disaster for his followers. Although having to give weight away today, were this to be a handicap he would be far worse off and as a consequence even though there is the merest doubt about his abilities if the race develops into a likely sprint, he seems unopposable against this opposition. Dee Ee Williams has lost his way badly over chase fences. His second at Ascot in 2008 to Medermit reads well but his lack of enthusiasm in recent times has been a worrying development. Marodima was once smart for Paul Nicholls though the Ditcheat handler has had few sleepless nights since he has left his yard to join Rebecca Curtis. A shame that this race has been so poorly subscribed and anything less than an easy win for Binocular would represent a severe failure for all concerned.
Binocular (FR) 11-8fav (11-7) Held up in touch, mistake 3 out, led approaching next, headed last, soon outpaced, 3rd of 7, 1 1/2l behind Go Native (11-7) at Kempton 2m hdl G1 (1) gs in Dec.
Dee Ee Williams (IRE) 5-1 (11-0) Jumped left, chased leading trio, struggling from 4 out, tailed off, 4th of 5, 32l behind Mad Max (11-0) at Kempton 2m nov chs (2) sft in Jan.
Marodima (FR) 8-1 (11-7) Tracked leader, led approaching 4th, headed 4 out, weakened next, 5th of 8, 14l behind Oiseau de Nuit (10-4) at Ffos Las 2m hcp chs 0-125 (2) sft in Jan.