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MIGHTY GURKHA was a precocious two-year-old, looking an above-average sort when stretching 7-and-a-half lengths clear of his rivals to make a winning debut at Lingfield in June. He was thought to be good enough to contest the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland later in the season.
It is his effectiveness on the all-weather that makes him of big interest here though, his record on an artificial surface now standing at 112 following his narrow defeat at Wolverhampton at the beginning of December.
He had little peace in front having been challenged for the lead and was only caught very late on by another rival who has a good strike rate on the all-weather. There should be more to come from Mighty Gurkha, and he has won a Group 3 over this course and distance.
SWEET CELEBRATION showed much improved form when winning a handicap by 8 lengths at this course in October 2019 and followed up from a 9lbs higher mark on her next start. She improved her record on the all-weather further when winning a Newcastle in June and held her form well in handicaps on the turf after.
Sweet Celebration has since been freshened up, which is a positive given her record when fresh – while the return to this venue (she has won two of her three starts here) is also encouraging. Marco Botti has been among the winners of late and the booking of Ben Curtis could be a sign of intent. There is plenty to like about her chances too.
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Going Places is sure to be popular here having made an impressive winning debut for these connections at Lingfield last time, but a more solid option at a bigger price is the well-treated EQUITATION.
All four of his wins have come on turf, but he is effective on an artificial surface too and has left the impression he could be ready to strike of late. He was a little too free in the early stages over 6 furlongs at this course last time and faded out of proceedings late on. But, provided he can get some cover and settle over this extra furlong, he is on a mark he can be competitive from.
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