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A jumpers’ bumper card and everything about Presentandcounting suggests it will be right in the mix come business time in this race. The Donald McCain trained seven-year-old landed a similar event here last year and has been impressive when placed on all three starts over hurdles this season.
Both the yard and jockey Brian Hughes look to be coming into a bit of form, with both having three winners in the past fortnight. This horse has won over track and trip and should be the one to cause Glory and Honour the most problems in this field.
Another Donald McCain runner looks to have a great chance in this contest. Onthefrontfoot comes into this one on the back of winning a couple of races over hurdles to add to his point/bumper wins last season. The horse then placed in a couple of runs recently at both Ludlow and Sedgefield over fences. It’s solid form to have in the book and it will take a decent run to beat the in-form seven-year-old.
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Malystic trained by Peter Niven has the profile to have a say in this race for sure. This horse is a decent chaser, who just over a month ago landed a 2m Handicap powering clear to win by over seven lengths. This seven-year-old certainly seems to like the track at Newcastle and also has a couple of bumper wins at the track in the last few years to his name. With Brian Hughes booked to ride, he has a great chance.
There has been a familiar theme with my selections and that continues in this final race as I like the look of Dear Sire in this one for Brian Hughes and Donald McCain. Back in October this horse won a handicap hurdle over the 2m trip so the distance won’t be any problem for this grey gelding. Didn’t go well last time out when pulled up at Haydock on heavy ground, but I’d be hopeful of a return to form against this field.
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