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This 7f novice stakes is a Maiden Stakes in everything but name with no previous winners in the line-up. Of then ten runners, only two have managed to hit the frame so far and it’s one of those pair which is likely to take plenty of beating. YEAR OF THE DRAGON appeared to be an unconsidered 200/1 shot when finishing a hugely promising third over course and distance on his sole start last month when trained by Denis Quinn.
That looked a much better race than this with the winner having solid form previously, the Godolphin-owned runner-up Highland Avenue holding an Irish Derby entry and the fifth-placed Epic Pass following up with a win at Wolverhampton 18 days later. Now with William Knight, this son of Dragons Pass would look to hold all the aces here.
Kawaalees regressed in his two runs after a promising second-placed effort at Leicester last August and it’s hard to see Chelsea Banham getting much improvement out of him while of the three newcomers in the race, Ellis Park looks very interesting for in-form trainer George Boughey with David Probert being a notable jockey booking. Overall however, Year Of The Dragon looks one of the best bets on the card.
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The second division of the 7f novice stakes is a much better contest than the one 30 minutes earlier, with plenty of placed form on show. The one thing is does have in common with the previous race is that all ten runners are still maidens and all eyes will be immediately drawn to Melody Of Life, which has the best form in the book. A brother to last year’s Challenge Stakes winner Happy Power, it is slightly concerning that he has been beaten in all three starts to date and there have been no excuses on any of those occasions.
He looks a favourite worth taking on and LOYAL HAVANA might provide the answer. Nick Littmoden’s charge showed his liking for Kempton when finishing a highly encouraging second over 6f last month and he was slightly unlucky when finishing a staying-on third at Southwell over 7f 12 days ago. Both his trainer and Joe Fanning are in form and he looks sure to go close.
Our PP News double at Kempton on Wednesday
* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
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