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SKONTONOVSKI was a useful two-year-old in 2019, finishing midfield and was beaten by 4 lengths in a Newmarket maiden over 6 furlongs that was won by Lazuli – who won a Group 3 last year and is rated 109. Skontonovski was only just touched off by Tritonic on his next start at Ffos Las over an extended 7 furlongs – Tritonic won a decent conditions race at Newbury on his next start, with the fourth now rated in the high 80’s now also.
He was well down the field in the big Donny Sales races, and had three runs in handicaps last season. But, all may not have been well with him as he ran okay in Haydock in June off 79 when sixth – beaten just over 2 lengths – and he wasn’t seen again until September. He has been gelded and Richard Spencer has had two winners recently, while Angus Villiers takes off a handy 5lbs.
I’m not saying THALER is a bet, but it is worth keeping an eye on him. He is by Dubawi out of Timepiece, who was a Group 1 winner for Henry Cecil. She hasn’t produced anything of note yet, but It is difficult not to like the breeding of this colt.
FIRST IMPRESSION was rated 89 on the Flat and was beaten a nose on hurdles debut last October by Historic Heart, who is now rated 130. He disappointed in a Listed race at Wetherby, before winning there in November – although he was a little lucky as the second Mr Shady hung up the straight.
He has been off the track since then, but returns here off a very workable mark. Meanwhile, trainer John Quinn won this race in 2013 with Calculated Risk, so he knows what it takes.
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