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Identity Thief faces acid test in Fighting Fifth

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Connections of Identity Thief will find out if he is up to Grade One company in the StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.

Connections of Identity Thief will find out if he is up to Grade One company in the StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.

Henry de Bromhead's charge showed he was still on the upgrade when winning the Grade Two WKD Hurdle at Down Royal on his reappearance four weeks ago and was supplemented for this on Monday.

"He's in good form, so hopefully he'll give a good account of himself," said the County Waterford trainer.

"We like him so we just want to see where he fits in."

Top Notch, trained by Nicky Henderson, made a pleasing return to action on his first start since finishing second in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March when pushing the reopposing Irving all the way at Haydock last Saturday.

"Nicky felt he took the race last week in his stride and he wanted to run him again," said Anthony Bromley, racing manager to owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

"It's obviously a deeper race whereas at Haydock it looked like he just had Irving to beat.

"He should have a good chance but with his next race scheduled to be the Relkeel at Cheltenham, not until New Year's Day, he has plenty of time to get over his exertions.

"It will be similar ground to last week, which won't bother him, but it does look a tougher race."