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ALNADAM was steadily progressive over hurdles last season, winning a novice at Uttoxeter and a novice handicap at Hereford from two next-time-out winners. His future was always going to be over fences, though, and he made a promising chase debut when finishing second to a subsequent winner at Carlisle in November.
He built on that effort when going one place better at Sandown earlier this month, and there was plenty to like about the way he kicked on at the home turn and kept finding for pressure. Alnadam promises to stay further than two-and-a-half miles, but this trip is fine for the time being.
He looks a chaser ahead of his mark even with an 8lb rise.
JOHNBB has been lightly raced in recent years, but looked a good prospect when opening his account over fences at Sandown last season – landing some nice bets in the process. He proved a severe let down on his next start, when beaten 50 lengths having been sent off the 11/10 favourite. However, he resumed his progress on his return from 10 months off at Wetherby in November, looking more like the useful chaser he had promised to be.
He hit both the third-last and two out, but rallied well to lead on landing after the last and saw it out well on the run-in. Johnbb could return in a handicap over the same course and distance on Boxing Day and he remains open to improvement as a chaser.
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FARRANTS WAY has only made the track twice in nearly two years, so he has seemingly had his fair share of problems. But, there is no doubt he possesses a fair bit of ability and remains one to be positive about. He made a winning start over hurdles at Hereford on his sole start last season and was well suited by the step up to beyond three miles – proving value for more than the winning margin suggests, not doing much once hitting the front.
Farrants Way showed his handicap mark a workable one when shaping encouragingly after nine months off at Sandown earlier this month, his lack of experience catching him out up against some hardened rivals. Farrants Way is clearly a chaser in the making, but that run should have put an edge on him and he remains with potential as a hurdler.
He will relish the galloping track and likely testing conditions at Chepstow though.
SECRET REPRIEVE had shown fairly useful form over fences as a novice last season and looked attractively weighted ahead of his reappearance at Haydock in November, but he fell too far out to be sure about how he would have fared. He duly proved his handicap mark a lenient one when flying up in the Welsh Grand National Trial at Chepstow earlier this month, showing much improved form.
Secret Reprieve jumped soundly and travelled well throughout, leading before the second-last and drawing clear in good style on the run-in. He will be well under a 4lbs penalty in the Welsh Grand National on Sunday and he is still open to improvement after five starts over fences, while the longer trip is also likely to suit.
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