Alborkan returns to the all-weather on the back of an encouraging performance on his hurdling debut at Kempton latest. Very impressive when last seen on the flat also back in October when winning a handicap at Yarmouth. Conditions at Kempton on hurdling debut were heavy so may have a fitness edge on his rivals in this 1m4f handicap. Hollie Doyle is booked to ride and will be confident of getting off to a good start on the card. Alborkan’s main rival and likely favourite Systemic ran a career best race over course and distance in January but has gone up 13Ib in the weights. Expect the selection to be given a confident ride and will be finishing faster than most.
Trainer William Haggas has just one runner on the card and Skulk is the one to beat. He will be looking at bigger and better things for this filly in time, who is open to any amount of improvement. She confirmed the promise of her debut as a two-year-old when winning easy at Linfield latest. Bred in the purple, the further the trip the better this filly can prove herself, so the step up in to 1m is is a real bonus and the brilliant Cieren Fallon is in the saddle.
Skulk is the nap on the card for me.
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Dutch Decoy was very impressive down in trip when winning a 10-runner handicap at Chelmsford in January. That was a taking performance and jockey Joe Fanning did well to win on his latest start as he hung left throughout the race and would have won much easier than the winning distance suggested – had he kept a straight line. There’s a little more needed tonight and again is Mark Johnston’s sole runner on the card.
Thaki went straight into the tracker on the back of his performance at Wolverhampton just a couple of weeks ago. This lightly-raced maiden went off a huge price with Cieren Fallon was in the saddle and he was extremely unlucky-in-running, but still finished fourth, beaten a length at the line.
Significantly, that was his first run after wind surgery and this lightly-raced maiden is open to huge improvement. A repeat performance with a bit of luck could see him win this weak handicap.
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