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Only four runners, but it’s still an interesting race with the top two looking capable of going on to better things. It’s not easy to split them, but preference is for LORD BADDESLEY – who is proven on soft ground. Lord Accord will win more races and should put up a very strong fight.
Pemberley and Moroder are the most appealing chase debutants, but Grand Turina and REPUBLICAN have the advantage of previous chase experience and that could be crucial. Republican will be fit after a recent Ascot outing and gets the nod.
A big run from previous track and trip victory Our Merlin would not be a shock in this 2m 2f handicap hurdle. But, ADICCI made an instant impact over hurdles last term and enters this contest on a tidy mark with his handler Jonjo O’Neill in great form currently. That makes him our selection here.
The six-year-old JOLY MAKER (NAP) continues to creep up the weights, but he is still progressing and this looks a good opportunity for him to gain a well-deserved success. Danseur Du Large likes it here and will be thereabouts if this is a going day for him. Meanwhile, last year’s runner-up Bellamy’s Grey is handicapped to go close, but lacks a recent run this time.
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Warranty and Sly Minx won on the Flat this summer, however this may be fought out by the two with French hurdling experience. Nassalam made a very promising debut when second at Clairefontaine in June, but SHENTRI drew nicely clear of two subsequent winners to score at Auteuil in September and might be the answer.
Christmas In April made excellent progress over marathon trips with cheekpieces fitted last winter and could plausibly have more improvement to come. But, CLOUDY GLEN is a big player if judged on his second in a valuable 3m Sandown handicap in February and has shaped as though today’s longer trip might suit. He gets the nod. Diable De Sivola was behind the selection at Sandown, but he also looks interesting on his first attempt at a marathon trip and he might have benefited from a summer wind op.
For a dual 2m 4f winner, Kentford Mallard ran surprisingly well back at 2m last time and needs considering, along with Havacuppa, Furia D’Oudairies and the unexposed Just Henny. The first choice, though, is DHARMA RAIN, who is unlucky to still be a maiden and is interesting back from a break with Jack Tudor’s valuable claim welcomed.
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