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NASSALAM looked a smart prospect when winning by a wide-margin over this course and distance last month, travelling strongly and quickly drawing clear after moving to the front at the second last. He probably didn’t have much to beat, but it was impossible to fault the manner of his success and he remains open to more improvement on just his second start for Gary Moore. This looks a good opportunity for him to follow up on his way to bigger and better things.
CAVE TOP has bounced back to form on his last couple of starts, finishing second at this venue and then going one place better at Southwell the following month. This will be tougher having gone up 4lbs in the weights, but he was competitive from marks in the high 120s in his prime and there’s every chance he’ll prove equal to the task if continuing to go the right way.
MIDNIGHT GLANCE is seeking a hat-trick here after back-to-back wins at Plumpton. His most recent success was achieved by less than 2 lengths, but he appeared to have plenty in hand after making smooth headway to lead before the last. He’s made a good start to life in handicaps and should mount a bold bid to defy another 7lbs rise in the weights, representing the Alan King yard that continues in good heart (62% of horses running to form).
BLACK KALANISI made the most of a good opportunity to open his account over fences at Plumpton three weeks ago, seizing the initiative to win by 3-and-a-half lengths after he had jumped the last better than the runner-up. Still relatively unexposed as a chaser, he remains potentially well treated from a BHA mark of 131 and should give another good account with Daryl Jacob doing the steering.
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LITTLE RIVER BAY is impossible to oppose if reproducing the form of her easy win at Wincanton three weeks ago. That performance is comfortably superior to anything her eight rivals here have achieved, so a 7lbs penalty is unlikely to be enough stop her in her follow-up bid – especially when you factor in her scope for more improvement.
ET MOI ALORS has been frustrating to follow for Gary Moore, failing to win any of his 13 starts over obstacles to date. There is no doubt he possesses plenty of talent though, and he should have more to offer as a chaser after not being seen to best effect when his rider lost his irons over this course and distance last time. A BHA mark of 110 doesn’t look insurmountable, so Tuesday could finally be the day he gets his head in front.
EMBOLE could be worth chancing in the finale on his first start for 454 days. He’s come down a long way in the weights since he was last seen in competitive action, while there is no better man to get one ready after a break than Dan Skelton. This also represents a much weaker race than those he usually contests, so it will be interesting to see whether the market speaks in his favour.
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