Assuming that Republican is fit and ready to go first-time back from an extended break, he could take some beating in Monday's company over what has become his preferred three-mile distance.
After beginning his career over shorter races, Republican stepped up in distance and unsurprisingly took a race to adjust to a longer trip.
However, he was much improved on his second start over three miles at Haydock a few weeks later on better ground, when he finished third of fifteen, just one one and a half lengths behind the winner in what was a competitive Class 2 event.
13:50 (Kempton) Republican
With the pair that beat him rated higher than any of today's field, he came from well off the pace and was finishing very strongly, confirming that he stays the extended trip comfortably.
On his next outing, his stamina was again in evidence when he was entered into a Class 3 handicap over three miles, six furlongs on the tight, flat, right-handed track at Perth (on good going).
His connections' faith was soon rewarded because, having made progress to hit the front a long way out, he was still a length ahead and trading at just 1.28 (from a BSP of 6.75), when he unfortunately fell at the last.
He hasn't run over hurdles since, with his two subsequent outings being over fences, and although he showed some chasing promise, it appears to be a smart move to kick off in a lower-grade hurdle race first time out this term, especially as his mark has dropped six pounds since his untimely fall at Perth.
Despite his extended absence from the course, we can glean some very positive clues from his yard's recent runners.
Over the last two weeks, Oliver Sherwood has sent out three winners from thirteen runners, and significantly all three of those winners were all achieved on seasonal debuts after absences of over six months.
Not only that, but they were all heavily backed in a way that suggested that their supporters were confident their horses were fit and ready to win first time back, and that confidence was rewarded by winning distances that ranged between two and eight lengths
On that recent evidence, Republican should also be in good shape, and with Brendan Powell on board he has to be a strong bet under these conditions, which would be even more suitable should the surface dry out a little.