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My Girl Maggie switches back to a novice after five months off, but she sets the standard at the weights and has shaped as though this drop back in trip could suit. She’s strongly respected, but preference is for AL ZARAQAAN.
He left his initial form well behind when scoring in good style over 1m 2f at Doncaster in June and is open to further progress on his return to action. Another interesting contender is Godolphin’s well-related newcomer Shining Example, who represents a yard that has had a couple, of debut winners recently.
There is little between the main contenders on ratings. Marginal preference is for RIVER CHORUS, who ran well over course and distance last time. Mused is second choice, ahead of Vanitas. The two debutantes need to be monitored for market confidence.
This looks inferior to the first division judged on the form on offer. SHARLA sets the standard on her 40/1 third over C&D two weeks ago, while Maahi Ve and Point Louise are on the next rung of the ladder. Fairy Cakes and Waltzing Queen are interesting newcomers who could easily take a serious hand
There are several striking newcomers who need a close look in the market, including Andrew Balding’s Melody Of Life, who cost 425,000gns as a yearling, and Roger Varian’s Zaajel, who is a half-sister to a smart 1m winner. However, the vote at this stage goes to the standout form contender in CAMPEAO, who was an eye-catching third over 7 furlongs at Newcastle last month and should be more streetwise on his second start.
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Spring Romance justified favouritism off a much-reduced mark at Southwell on Friday and is a big player again if he copes with this step back up in trip. Lily Beach should make another bold bid on her drop back to 7 furlongs, while Violet’s Lads could be dangerous if she gets a good pace and some luck.
However, the one that appeals most is the unexposed four-year-old NOBLE QUEEN, who found plenty of improvement with her comfortable win at Chelmsford. She may well be able to strike again off her revised mark to make it 2-2 in handicaps.
The two most solid contenders on form are Liberty Bay and ACQUISITOR, who are closely matched on C&D running 33 days ago. The latter gets the narrow verdict. Mops Gem and handicap debutante Inspiring Love are possibly, but by no means definitely, open to improvement.
Most of the runners have plenty to prove and this can revolve around the in-form pair Gold Brocade and PHOENIX STAR (NAP). The former has finished runner-up at Chelmsford on her last two starts and should make another bold bid off an unchanged mark, but preference is for Phoenix Star who made it 3-5 over C&D with his strong-finishing win 14 days ago and a 3lb rise for that success looks fair.
Top of the list is AZETS, who has won three times on Polytrack this year and ran another good race when third behind two well-handicapped rivals at Lingfield last Saturday. Second choice is Silver Cliffs, who has finished close up in his last two starts and is a big player if he can find some extra spark on this new surface. Cashel has each-way claims, while Corrida De Toros shaped with promise from off the pace on his recent comeback and has possibilities if he can build on that.
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