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Of the previous winners Hackberry looks the more interesting and he should have plenty more to offer. Better is also expected from All Shook Up but GRAND DU NORD may be the answer. He was palpably green on his turf debut here in November but he could prove a different proposition with that experience behind him.
Top of the list is QUEST FOR LIFE, who returned from a long absence with a clearcut win over hurdles at Musselburgh 17 days ago and looks a strong contender back in a bumper. Cathal’s Star is feared most, though the thorough stayer Derrick D’Anjou has reached the frame in 2m events here in his last two runs and could have a big part to play back up in trip. Another who could be in the mix is Handy Hollow, who had a daunting task over C&D last week and this looks a more realistic assignment.
The useful jumper KING D’ARGENT (nap) fell at Newbury last time but that was after a dominant display on his chase debut at Warwick and he should be hard to beat now switched to a bumper for a yard that won a couple of these events here last week. Raecius Felix is a potential threat if on a going day.
Armed with a 4yo allowance AMBASSADOR is taken to open his account. He has solid form in juvenile hurdles and showed ability on this course under Flat rules when with Richard Fahey. Moon King is feared most. Dagian looks unlikely to follow up last week’s 50-1 success.
Storm Goddess isn’t crying out for this big drop back in trip but she’s seriously respected on ability. If she ends up being tapped for toe, TRAVEL LIGHTLY may be the one to take advantage. The selection was quite impressive in a C&D contest last week, recording a career-best RPR in the process. Off The Hook and Another Theatre are others for the shortlist.
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This looks a good opportunity for ONTHEFRONTFOOT, who has finished placed in jumpers’ bumpers over C&D in his last two starts, including a clear second behind a very useful favourite last Tuesday. The main dangers are Getareason, who ran respectably behind the selection here last week, and the returning Shetland Bus, whose best jumps form gives him each-way claims on these terms.
Armed with a 6lb pull ONWARD ROUTE has a good chance of reversing last week’s C&D placings with Who’s My Jockey, who is respected all the same. King Of Realms has possibilities if coming back to form, Looksnowtlikebrian is capable of being involved and She’s Gina may improve for the wind surgery.
The Steward won by 13l after blasting off in front last week but he was unsurprisingly paddling in the closing stages and a penalty can scupper the follow up on this quick reappearance. Gylo and Romeo Brown can go well but useful chaser RETURN TICKET bypassed a soft-ground event at Musselburgh on Saturday and that decision can reap its reward now.
Busy Street wasn’t at his best last week but he’d be a contender on his previous win, even with the penalty. GOOBINATOR is developing into a very useful hurdler though and he looks to have been found a very good opportunity in this field.
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