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David Pipe has won this race four times in the last nine years and he would look to have strong claims to enhance that fine strike rate with IDUNO. Off the mark on his second start in bumpers, he beat Mario De Pail who is now rated 133 over hurdles. The third horse that day recently won a handicap off a mark of 107 and is now rated 113.
He got off the mark at the first time of asking over hurdles, beating the now 122-rated Stonific and 122-rated Presentandcounting at Sedgefield. He did disappoint when attempting to follow up under a penalty when a short price, but I’m guessing that all was not well with him that day as we have not seen him since that run last December.
He now makes his handicap debut off a mark of 113 and based on some of his earlier runs, he could be extremely well handicapped. Add in the Pipe record in the race, it is very likely he has been laid out for this test.
Darling Daughter was a Grade 2 winner in bumpers last season and will be the one to beat here, but I am going to take her on with THE GETAWAY STAR who has the benefit of a recent run over hurdles. Highly tried on that hurdles debut, she was pitched into a Grade 3 at Down Royal and ran a really strange race.
She looked likely to be tailed off at halfway when her jumping was poor, before rattling home to be fourth only beaten just under 3 lengths. That experience won’t be lost on her and she has the raw ability, as she easily accounted for the likes of Getaway Gorgeous and Larquebuse in her bumper wins. Provided her jumping is sharper here, she can put it up to Darling Daughter.
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One True King was well backed on his handicap debut here last month and he was a little unfortunate to bump into a very well handicapped rival in Tegerek, but looks to have strong claims off just a 2lb higher mark.
There are a host of well interesting handicap debutants, with Percy’s Word and Panic Attack at the top of the list. But, it might be worth taking a chance on other handicap debutant in HAZZAAR for Tom Lacey. He was highly regarded when making a winning debut in an Ascot bumper on decent ground and was a disappointing favourite for a Listed bumper at Ascot on his second start when encountering soft ground.
He then had three runs over hurdles and all three of those runs were on a testing surface. I might be wrong, but maybe a decent surface might be important to him and considering he goes handicapping now off a mark of 117 on decent ground, he looks worthy of a play in this one.
COPINET was strong in the market on debut, being back from prices as big as 40/1 overnight into an SP of 7/1 and she was a little unlucky not to collect. She was slowly away and ultimately that cost her, as she had too much ground to make up with the winner Isle Of May, but she did finish extremely strong to suggest that she has plenty of ability.
The winner is rated 82 and the third was just beaten on nursery debut off a mark of 74, so there is every reason to suggest that Copinet will run to at least a mark of 80 and possibly even to a mark in the mid to high 80’s were she to improve for that experience. Were she to run to that sort of mark here, she should prove very difficult to beat.
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