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Winning-pointer ONAGATHERINGSTORM showed plenty on his hurdling debut when finishing runner-up in a novice hurdle at Uttoxeter last month, and is hard to oppose with improvement forthcoming and this longer distance also sure to be to his benefit. Rapid Flight has been off since posting an encouraging effort when fifth on debut at Hereford in November, but is in excellent hands so is feared most on the back of a breathing operation.
A case of quantity over quality here, with RAFFLE TICKET selected to gain some much-deserved compensation having had the race at his mercy before crumpling on landing at the final flight at Hereford last month. Provided that incident hasn’t left a mark, he could prove tough to beat. Voice of Calm showed aptitude for hurdling when fifth on his debut at Kempton last month, so heads the possible dangers.
ONE MORE FLEURIE has taken well to chasing and looked set to go close in his bid for the hat-trick when departing four out at Fakenham last month. He landed a couple of gambles on his previous two starts, so clearly connections feel he is well treated, and he will remain of interest. Eyes Right made a satisfactory start in this sphere at Newbury and should improve.
This can go to AYR OF ELEGANCE, who landed a gamble in taking fashion in a change of headgear at Plumpton early last month. He had fallen 28 lb in the weights, and she took full advantage, so a subsequrnt 10 lb rise in the weights may not be enough to prevent the follow up. She’s one to keep on side now up and running again. Lady Cylla should go well with a recent run under her belt so heads the list of dangers.
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ROBIN OF SHERWOOD is in good form and, given how he finished when second at Ffos Las recently, could well be suited by the step up in trip, so he’s preferred to the well-treated Goodnight Charlie, who has taken some steps back in the right direction on her last two starts.
KINGSPLACE arrives on the back of a couple of disappointing showings at Hereford and Chepstow, but could benefit from the step up in trip reverted to handicaps from what looks an appealing mark based on the pick of his efforts. He’s preferred to the in-form duo of Huntsmans Jog and Imperial Knight.
J. P. McManus is responsible for a couple of interesting runners in DUC DE BOURBON and Heart of A Lion, with ready preference for the former on the back of an eye-catching handicap debut at Doncaster. He did well to finish as close as he did under the circumstances and should have plenty more to offer for a bang in-form yard. Pop The Cork is slightly more exposed but he should be on the premises also.
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