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Oliver’s Island escapes a penalty for his recent win in a big-field conditionals’ handicap at Wetherby and has to be respected, but he’s not the most consistent and NOTHING MAN (nap) is preferred. He was second to a progressive winner when upped to 3m1f at Huntingdon on November’s stable debut and is unexposed over staying trips. First One D’ana and Thirsty Farmer are also open to improvement.
A case can be made for all three runners. DIOMEDE DES MOTTES bumped into a classy winner when second at Hereford last time out and a reproduction of that performance may well see him go one better. Eva’s Oskar can build on his chase debut fourth at Exeter and is second choice.
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Finisk River for Donald McCain (who also runs Malpas) looks vulnerable conceding so much weight. This may therefore be fought out between FRIMEUR DE LANCRAY, who was closing on the principals at the end of his 1m7f Listed race last time, and the juvenile Gold Desert who shapes as if this longer trip will suit him.
Out On The Tear was a comfortable winner over 1m7f here last month and there could still be mileage in today’s 8lb higher mark, but there are doubts regarding this longer trip. DE FORGOTTEN ONE is a solid alternative, having been in good form since joining Richard Hobson. Talktomenow is one from one over fences and could also be involved.
MORE TOP TIPS
The key horse is SIGURD who has nothing to prove under the conditions and breezed home in front over C&D last time. He should win with a repeat of that but there’s just a six-day turnaround between races. Most of the others have at least a place chance, including Mackie Dee who won well over 2m4f on good ground last time.
Useful German Flat performer Aronius could make a mockery of his opening hurdle mark, with Dan Skelton applying a tongue-tie for the first time, but he certainly needs to improve upon what he’s shown in this code thus far. The unexposed Burrows Diamond could go well now back down in distance but a chance is taken on the 12yo SNOWED IN, who needs to return to form but won this in 2017 and 2018 and is back down to the same mark as when making all over C&D last January.
More tips for Sunday
- Timeform’s 7 fab fancies at Fairyhouse on Sunday
- Timeform’s punchy punts at Plumpton on Sunday
- Timeform’s top trio at Southwell today