A smart performer on the Flat – winning four times last year and twice hitting the frame in listed company this term – Sextant looks to hold solid claims if showing aptitude for hurdling. He is a class above this opposition and should have little trouble making a successful debut over obstacles.
Bingo D’Olivate finished first past the post at this venue in February only to be disqualified after his rider weighed in light, and he shaped as if retaining his ability at Hexham on his reappearance in October, just looking as though in need of the run. He is on a potentially good mark now switched back to chasing, and with James Ewart’s inmates in rude health at present, he gets the vote in a difficult race to predict.
Donald McCain looks to have found a good opportunity for his new recruit Gallopongray to open her account, with ability thin on the ground in this maiden. Gallopongray showed just modest form in Ireland for Colin Bowe earlier this year, but landed a point subsequently, and she makes the most appeal on her stable debut.
Jonniesofa landed an Ayr handicap at the beginning of last season but tailed off towards the end of the campaign. He has a good record when fresh however, winning on his last two outings following a break, so this could be the best time to catch this lightly-raced chaser. He has a good chance on the pick of his form and gets the vote to make it three successive reappearance wins.
Captain Zebo has proved a handy acquisition for John Dixon’s yard, rattling off a novice hurdle hat-trick in 2018/19. He was weak in the market after an 11-month absence at this venue in February, but he brushed aside any doubts as to his fitness and his ability as he notched his fourth win on the bounce, showing an impressive amount of stamina to open up like he did after making a bad mistake two out. He doesn’t make it to the track that often, but he is clearly very capable when fresh, and he is difficult to oppose as he goes in search of the five-timer.
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Lough Derg Jewel put a poor run over hurdles behind him with a career-best performance back chasing at this venue last month, produced to lead after two out before showing a good turn of foot to quicken clear on the flat. He is up 6 lb for that victory but merits plenty of respect all the same.
Without Conviction and Lagonda finished third and fourth respectively in an Ayr bumper last month, but that form is hardly unassailable, and it is probably worth siding with the interesting newcomer Hollymount. A Jet Away filly, Hollymount is a half-sister to three winners, including Windsor Avenue, and the booking of Brian Hughes only adds to her appeal.
Timeform’s tips at Carlisle on Sunday
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