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The somewhat frustrating Faustinovick may have to settle for another silver medal, this time behind ECOSSAIS who already knows how to win and is 2-2 at this course. Rizzardo should go well if he’s able to dominate and Kayf Thou needs a close look on his debut for Christian Williams.
This is the easiest chase NORTHERN BEAU (NAP) has contested for some time, and she comes here after holding her own in a good-quality handicap hurdle nine days ago. If today’s change of headgear has a positive effect, she could be hard to beat in this grade.
Black Tulip may dispute the early lead with the selection, but Danse Idol is feared more having rediscovered some form on her stable debut 12 days ago.
Only three runners, but it’s a tight-looking race. GLAJOU may be the answer returned to the scene of his comfortable success in December. Second choice King D’argent has solid claims back over fences, while Blacko holds every chance if he takes well to the new discipline.
This ought to be straightforward for ROCKSTAR RONNIE, who dominated a stronger race than this from the front at Kelso last month and sets a useful standard. Oceans Red was placed over hurdles at Uttoxeter two weeks ago, but the form isn’t anything to get too excited about and the main threat to the selection may emerge from Lockdown Leader – who made the frame in a Newbury bumper in November.
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There are some unexposed ones from top stables lurking in the shadows, but DRAKES WELL probably sets the standard after his close second on last month’s rules debut. His point form offers hope he’ll be seen to even better effect on today’s less testing ground.
Roscoe Tara also made a promising hurdle debut and is second choice, but considerable improvement is possible from both Great Gable and One Handsome Dude. Meanwhile, Dan Skelton’s newcomer Night In Manhattan looks interesting too.
Embole did well to fend off a well-backed rival when winning a big-field contest at Wetherby last month and remains very well handicapped on past form, but it’s hard to get away from MR CHUA. He is unpenalised for his recent Catterick success and, if judged on his Flat form, could be a long way ahead of the handicapper over hurdles. Cyrus Keep, Jaunty Soria and Fleursals may interest each-way punters.
Dan Skelton’s handicap debutant White Walker has significant potential for improvement and is one of a few who will be feared if strong in the betting. Perhaps the most interesting runner though is HATS OFF TO LARRY, who was useful on the Flat and is unexposed over hurdles.
The seven-year-old struggled to cope with heavy ground on his recent stable debut, but ought to be much better suited by today’s conditions. Brave Jaq and Givepeaceachance can also go well, while Just Once is a more speculative option to consider.
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