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There should be more to come from DASH OF BLUE, who came good at Southwell 17 days and still has low mileage. He gets the nod ahead of Andapa and Ermyn’s Emerald, who were both second to next-time-out winners after one-year absences this month. Blazing Saddles was second to recent Greatwood third Tegerek in March and makes his seasonal debut from the same mark, while Bertie Blake is also considered in a good race for the grade.
Captain Speaking has taken very well to chasing this season and may still have more improvement to come, while course and distance winner Thomas Todd is dropped in grade after running well on his seasonal debut. However, BIG CHIEF BENNY gave a pretty good account on softer-than-ideal ground at Bangor 19 days ago and, now back on a sound surface, is too well handicapped to resist.
After 10 hurdle starts, JACKSON HILL is by far the most exposed runner in the line-up, but he earns good marks for his consistency and also his proven ability over this C&D. Wincanton bumper winner Pasvolsky is feared most, but Lady KK made a promising rules debut at Exeter this month and is not ruled out.
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Strictlyadancer looked in excellent nick when defeating Telson Barley at Exeter 19 days ago and is 2-2 at Fakenham, but this can go to the oldest runner in the line-up ACHILL ROAD BOY (NAP). Stuart Coltherd’s 11-year-old was unlucky not to win the C&D Norfolk National off a 7lb higher mark in May 2019 and returns here after going very close over hurdles on his latest outing. Speedy Cargo bids to complete a hat-trick and is also afforded respect.
Pam Sly’s GROUSEMAN was nothing special on the Flat, but he ran well in defeat over hurdles at Catterick recently and might be the answer. Tamaris is second choice, but The Cincinnati Kid is an interesting recruit from the Flat and also warrants consideration.
Laura Morgan’s six-year-old GOLD FIELDS was a very dominant C&D winner two weeks ago and is taken to overcome a 12lb hike in the weights. He was beaten under a 7lb penalty at Sedgefield on Tuesday, but ran well enough for long enough there to suggest he’s still in good heart.
Goldencard kept on to take second behind the selection on his latest outing but the fourth in that race, Glimpse Of Gold, remained in touch with the winner for much longer and was arguably second best on merit. Court Jurado comes here in good form, but he went up 5lb for finishing second on his latest outing and sometimes flatters to deceive.
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