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SUSIE JAVEA is certainly a consistent performer at this level, and she was duly rewarded for her recent performances when getting off the mark over this course and distance last time. She had something left up her sleeve to gain revenge on Van Dijk, who had gotten the better of her previously. The pair meet again here, and it is Ollie Pears’ charge – with 5lbs claimer Harry Russell onboard – who gets the vote to confirm the placings.
After showing plenty to work on at Newcastle first time up, CARROTHERS opened his account at the second attempt at this venue in December. He took a wide route to avoid the kickback on his fibresand debut and was well on top come the line. That form has been boosted a couple of times since, and with improvement anticipated, this looks a good opportunity for Carrothers to go in again.
KNOWING GLANCE was weak in the betting when returning from a seven-week absence at this venue last time, but he gave the impression that he was on his way back. He didn’t look completely straightforward, but caught the eye in the closing stages – keeping on to make up a fair bit of ground and finishing with running left. That was easily his most encouraging effort since joining Stuart Williams’ yard and he is one to note from a sliding mark.
GABRIAL THE DEVIL capitalised on a drop in grade to regain the winning thread over this course and distance last month. On the back of a 3lbs rise for that win, he ran creditably to finish a neck second to Shallow Hal under similar conditions last time – sticking to his task, but just unable to overhaul the winner. The two reoppose here, but Shallow Hal must shoulder a 5lbs penalty for that success, so Gabrial The Devil gets the vote to reverse the placings.
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A big, powerful sprinter, MULZIM looked a cut above his rivals as he resumed winning ways over this course and distance last time. He took over approaching the final furlong after three others had forced a strong pace and was well on top come the finish. That was his fourth win in his last six runs and a 5lbs penalty may not be enough to prevent him from adding to that tally further.
THRAVE has taken well to Southwell’s fibresand surface this winter, winning two of his four races at the track, – including over this course and distance last month and he stayed on well to edge a bunched finish. He again ran well to finish third under a penalty here last time and remains well treated on his old form, so he looks the one to beat.
A winner at this course back in November, PALAZZO has been running well in defeat since then – finishing placed on all three outings. He ran another good race to finish third here last month, just proving vulnerable late on having dueled with his market rival from a fair way out. He looks sure to remain competitive at the very least.
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