Harry Fry believes Metier has everything in his favour ahead of his bid for Grade One honours in the Unibet Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown.
A 150,000 guineas purchase last year after displaying smart form on the Flat in Ireland, the son of Mastercraftsman made an excellent start to his jumping career on his debut for new connections at Newton Abbot in October.
Metier doubled his tally with a dominant front-running victory at Ascot last month and is well fancied to complete his hat-trick in this weekend’s top-level feature.
“He’s in good form, he has form in the ground and a stiff two miles will suit him,” said Fry.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing if he can continue on an upward curve.”
The Michael Scudamore-trained Do Your Job won a couple of minor races at Ffos Las and Ayr in October, before filling the runner-up spot behind Llandinabo Lad in a Listed contest at Haydock.
The winner has since finished second in a Grade Two at Ascot to give the form some substance.
Scudamore said of Do Your Job: “He goes there in great form and didn’t run a bad race at Haydock. In hindsight, things probably didn’t quite go to plan that day. I’m not saying we’d have won, but with different tactics, perhaps we might have finished closer to the winner.
“The form doesn’t look too bad now. We probably have to step up again on Saturday, but there’s no reason why he shouldn’t handle the track and he’s handled that ground before.
“He deserves his place in the field.”
Ben Pauling’s Shakem Up’Arry, who is owned by football manager Harry Redknapp, brings plenty of jumping experience to the table as a second-season novice.
The Flemensfirth gelding chased home the brilliant Shishkin in a novice hurdle at Newbury last term, before finishing down the field in the Ballymore at the Cheltenham Festival, but he has subsequently turned in two sound efforts.
“I think he’ll run a massive race on Saturday. He’s a very nice horse who is 100 per cent a chaser for next season, but two miles on soft ground around Sandown is about as ideal as you could get for him really,” said Pauling.
“He’s in good form and had a solid run to finish fourth in a handicap at Haydock last time out. I hope he’ll run a nice race.”
Jane Williams saddles Galice Macalo, who after winning at Warwick and Stratford in October, finished runner-up in a competitive Listed handicap hurdle over this course and distance four weeks ago.
The trainer’s son Chester Williams takes the ride, and said: “I can’t wait to ride her – she is a very exciting mare. She has done everything right this season and was probably unlucky to be beaten by a good horse last time.
“She is very progressive. We know that the track and trip suit her well and she loves deep ground.
“She has got to go there with every chance. It would be lovely to get a Grade One on the CV.”
Grandeur D’Ame (Oliver Sherwood), Smurphy Enki (Chris Gordon) and Tile Tapper (Chris Honour) complete the field.
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