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Today’s increased rating and classier rivals provide a tougher test for THE LATE LEGEND (NAP), but he won in good style again at Sedgefield last time and is taken to make it five wins from his last six outings. Truckin Away has solid claims and is second choice ahead of Tanarpino, although the Ben Pauling-trained pair One Touch and Nadaitak can play major roles if things click.
The Philip Hobbs-trained GOSHEVEN won a course and distance maiden hurdle recently, his first crack at a staying trip, and this unexposed seven-year-old is taken to follow up on his handicap debut. Last month’s Market Rasen winner Teescomponents Lad could be the main danger, ahead of Flemcara who drops back in grade.
The front-running SOMETIMES ALWAYS escapes a penalty for his 6 lengths win in a conditionals’ handicap at Wetherby last month and is the one to beat. Major Dundee was a solid second at Warwick last time out and is the obvious danger.
The Jonjo O’Neill-trained ANNIE MC impressed when landing a hat-trick in mares’ novice chases last winter and hasn’t been disgraced in hot handicaps against males this season. She can capitalise on the weight she receives today from her main rivals.
Casablanca Mix was a 1 lengths runner-up to Chilli Filli at Market Rasen last time, but is 4lbs better off today and the shorter trip is a negative for the winner, who is also closely matched with her 2m 4f Carlisle conqueror My Old Gold.
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Soft ground is a concern for the otherwise interesting Welland, while the juvenile Asharann lacks experience, but runs from the foot of the weights for a bang-in-form Oliver Greenall. A case of sorts can be made for En Meme Temps and the consistent Coole Well. B
But, in a broadly open race MONARCHOFTHEGRANGE is taken to build upon a pleasing handicap debut at Leicester. Jordan Nailor’s 3lbs claim effectively negates a subsequent weights rise.
Not a strong race of its type. There’s good reason to believe that Flat winner PROGRESSIVE can develop into a useful hurdler and she’s preferred to Ronde De Nuit, who only weakened out of the picture late on at Exeter.
Although lacking in experience over fences, EDWARDSTONE was a very good novice hurdler who ran a pleasing first race of the season in the Greatwood at Cheltenham. Fast Buck could be on a tough mark and the danger might be Notre Pari, if he can avoid the sort of mistake that cost him dear at Aintree.
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