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KHATM has proved an inspired purchase by this young trainer George Boughey, who is making a habit of improving horses from other stables. He was a little unlucky on Wednesday at Lingfield because over the mile-and-a quarter distance, he was forced to go hard early and wide into the first turn, which didn’t help his cause under the 10lbs penalty. Being back at Southwell will suit and he can move onto five wins for the all-weather season and join the other three leaders searching for the £10,000 winning-most horse bonus.
SHORE was tailed off in a bumper on his racecourse debut, but stepped up dramatically just six days later to run a never-nearer fourth over a quarter-mile shorter. With his pedigree he is bound to improve again as his dam Romantica was second in the Breeders Cup. We have the excellent Colin Keane on our side in the saddle and although not gifted a perfect starting position, he should be fine from stall nine.
DEFENCE TREATY did remarkably well to battle back and force his head in front last time over course and distance beating a real solid yardstick in Thrave, with the front two pulling a good way clear of the third.
He was hassled for the lead for someway and normally in those circumstances they tend to fade away late on, particularly on this stamina-sapping surface. It’s been a great start to 2021 for Richard Fahey and Defence Treaty can post another victory for the squad.
FALLEN FOREST is trying to protect his 100 per cent record on a synthetic surface at Dundalk, which looks well within his reach. However, he’s not going to start anywhere like the 66/1 shot that he did last time.
He is much better drawn than his main rival Kalanoura, who he beat last time right on top of the line. With Kalanoura likely to push forward from a wide position, we should get the ideal pace set up for Fallen Forest to finish strongly again.
Picked up for just £800 at the Doncaster horses-in-training sale, BETTER BY FAR might just prove another shrewd cheap purchase for this veteran handler Roy Bowring. She went close at Lingfield off a much higher mark when starting her handicap career, but has continued to disappoint and now finds herself down on a bargain basement rating of just 50.
Her jockey Lewis Edmunds is flying and the trainer is operating at a 50 per cent strike rate at the moment. The yard is red-hot and rates in each-way play for a track they do well at.
BENKOGAMBIT looked set to strike for us last time after a couple of promising efforts over the long sprint 7-furlongs distance. Stepping up to the mile looks the right way to go and he is also gone the other way as far as the handicap is concerned, dropping 10lb from his original rating by the handicapper of 60. The pocket rocket Wayne Lordan takes over in the saddle and that can prove decisive on the drive to the line in the lucky last.
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