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BE PROUD goes well at Newcastle and registered a fourth success over course and distance when landing a 5-furlong handicap by three-quarters of a length last month. That was a career-best effort from Be Proud, who had previously advertised his wellbeing by winning here in November and twice finishing placed in December.
Be Proud’s hold-up style means that he’s a hostage to fortune, but races over Newcastle’s stiff 5 furlongs often develop in a way that suits those patiently ridden. He can launch another bold bid under Oliver Stammers, who has been aboard for Be Proud’s last five starts, a sequence that includes two wins.
IMPERIAL COMMAND proved better than ever when making a successful start for Mark Loughnane here over 7 furlongs in December, scoring with more in hand than the winning margin of a neck would imply. Imperial Command was short of room a couple of furlongs out, but when he eventually got the gap approaching the final furlong he stayed on powerfully – clocking a decent sectional time on his way to a cosy success.
He finished down the field when upped to a mile here last month, but he shaped better than the finishing position suggests, failing to secure a clear run after travelling better than most. He still has more to offer for this yard and can get back on the up granted better luck.
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MYTHMAKER is on a losing run of 15 that stretches back to July 2018, but he went close on his last couple of starts in 2020 and is ready to cash in on a generous mark. On his penultimate start, Mythmaker was unable to reel in a rival at Wolverhampton who was given an enterprising front-running ride, but he did well to get within a neck of that subsequent winner. Mythmaker ran to a similar level when again runner-up at Wolverhampton and he should launch another bold bid from a 1lb higher mark.
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