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Preference is for CULTURE, who has form figures of 11231 at this track and still looks feasibly treated off 3lb higher than for his strong-finishing win here last time. Second choice is Note Bleu, who is unexposed at middle-distances and chased home a lightly raced improver over course and distance last month.
Central City looks interesting on his close call behind the selection on his penultimate run. He didn’t really fire at Lingfield 16 days ago and needs to raise his game again after that.
The wide-drawn Excelinthejungle has made the running before but this is far from overloaded with pace and a couple of the likelier suspects in Kingsley Klarion and Fard will need to get away better than has often been the case. Aces has found his level again since switched to blinkers and should go well, but BLUE CABLE is open to a bit of improvement and is fancied to end a losing run for her new yard.
The blinkers have had a positive effect on Secret Potion, who ran well off this mark at Wolverhampton last Monday. High Class Affair and SILENT WITNESS are open to improvement after just three runs apiece, however, the latter getting the nod having shown up well for a long way in a 7-furlong novice on her comeback from nine months off recently.
Most of the handicap newcomers are open to improvement, notably TWILIGHT MADNESS whose best two-year effort came over C&D and suggests he’s on a workable mark. Kinderdijk is also interesting, while Vitalline and Mehmo may prove best of the runners who already have handicap form. Any market moves should be heeded.
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Mighty Gurkha is a huge player on form and Bravado remains unbeaten, but they may take each other on for the lead and set this race up for ZAMAANI and Rohaan to fill the first two places in that order.
Going Places and Starshiba are appealing types but their rematch could go either way. An interesting alternative is REACTION TIME, who scored by a wide margin last time and looks a good prospect for Kevin Frost.
Maaward and Bartat have both made the running in the past but C&D specialist In The Red, who came back to form last time, is the one most likely to take them along. Love Destiny holds obvious claims as he bids to make it four from four over 7 furlongs, but the market spoke positively about MORLAIX back from a long absence recently. He shaped nicely behind a subsequent winner when rated 3lbs higher, and he’s likely to come on for that.
The winners of this race last year, Wally’s Wisdom and Mistress Nellie, have ended up in the same division this time round. They are worthy of respect, but LIVA is taken to build on his reappearance effort and break his all-weather duck. French Mix, like the selection, is well handicapped off 54.
Preference is for MR ZEE (NAP), who took well to this C&D on his reappearance and looks open to further progress in this scenario. Stevie McKeane, another unexposed type, is second choice. Murhib and Divine Consent are others to consider.
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