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THEGREATESTSHOWMAN is on a long losing run of 17 that stretches back to November 2019 but he been in good form of late and was only narrowly denied at Southwell last time. Thegreatestshowman was beaten by just a head at Southwell and a 2 lb higher mark should not stop him going close again. This looks a good opportunity for him to gain a deserved success.
THE TRADER failed to fire when dropped in trip at Chelmsford last time, finding disappointingly little having travelled well, but he was a good second over a mile and a half at Wolverhampton on his previous outing and should be well suited by returning to that distance. The Trader has enjoyed a good year, winning at Newmarket on his return and then finishing placed on three of his subsequent five starts. He is on a competitive mark and Richard Kingscote – who is in the saddle for the first time – might be able to secure an easy lead.
SEMPER AUGUSTUS made no impact in a valuable sales race at Newmarket last time, but he has a nice pedigree – he’s a brother to a smart sort – and is interesting based on his second at Wolverhampton in August, which is his standout effort from four attempts. That second at Wolverhampton was achieved over six furlongs but Semper Augustus is bred to appreciate this step up in trip and he could still have more to offer on artificial surfaces. He is worth chancing for Ed Walker, who has been among the winners.
FOX DUTY FREE refused to race on his final start for Andrew Balding but he has looked a reformed character since joining this stable, winning both starts here over seven furlongs in the style of a horse to be positive about. Fox Duty Free had shown promise for his previous yard and appears to be getting his act together based on his last two victories, which have been achieved in decisive fashion. He is still well treated after going up 6 lb for this latest success and he looks the one to beat.
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FIGHTING TEMERAIRE wasn’t at his best at Wolverhampton last time, but it’s worth overlooking that effort as he raced wide and pulled hard. He is better judged on his previous effort at Wolverhampton, where he finished runner-up off 1 lb higher than the mark he runs off here. He was successful over this course and distance in June and ran well when a close-up fourth in August, so the return to this venue will suit and he should give a good account.
LOYAL HAVANA didn’t make much of an impact on his first couple of outings but he showed improved form to finish runner-up in a six-furlong novice at Kempton last time, doing best of those that came from off the pace. The strength Loyal Havana showed at the finish suggests that this step up in trip to seven furlongs may bring about further improvement and he should go close if progressing as anticipated.
COME ON GIRL faced a stiff task last time when running from out of the handicap against higher-rated rivals, but she wasn’t disgraced in fourth, offering hope that she is in good enough form to capitalise on this drop in grade. This is a much more realistic task and she is well drawn, so a bold bid looks on the cards. The drop in trip back to six furlongs is not a concern as her last victory was achieved over this course and distance.
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