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Preference is for the form horse NO RISK DES FLOS, though he’s by no means a good thing with his double penalty. His stablemates are dangerous, as Fabrique En France retains potential and Auditoria is armed with every allowance going, while Coolkill isn’t without hope either.
This will take some winning. Wake The Giant is respected as he was probably going to win when falling at Down Royal but preference is for his compatriot ENSEL DU PERCHE, who almost certainly has more to offer. Quick Draw won in the manner of an improver at Chepstow and he’s best of the rest.
Little prospect of this being slowly run. Sao may yet prove able to translate his best work over galloping tracks on slow ground to this different sort of test, but previous gains from off the pace at Warwick and Southwell confirm ISAAC WONDER (NAP) has no such questions to answer on that score.
A clear round can secure the spoils for just Michael Scudamore’s third runner at Perth in the last five seasons. Licklighter is preferred of the remainder.
Pistol Whipped looked good from the front at Plumpton and is not without hope of another soft lead, so he’s a strong contender even with his career-high mark. Delire D’Estruval could also be a player if pulling his socks up, but DEFI SACRE is hard to knock after the season he’s had, and he might not be done yet.
Gavin Cromwell’s TOP OF THE CHARTS has his near-optimum conditions on this return to hurdling, will stay okay and has the assistance of Brian Hughes. The manner with which Republican saw his race out over 3m at Haydock suggests he can find something on that form over this longer trip and he’s feared most, ahead of Who’s My Jockey and Steal A March.
There should be a big run in THOMAS TODD, who gets away from soft ground for the first time this season and he’s absolutely mustard when fresh. Hedgeinator is the danger after pulling clear with one in form at Newton Abbot, and Eagle Ridge also needs considering.
The sounder surface asks a fresh question of CANCAN, but Nick Alexander’s mare appears to be improving at a healthy rate now and can prove the answer, assuming earlier hard-pulling tendencies don’t resurface.
Crackdeloust can prove best of the remainder if able to shrug off the effects of his fall in a better race last time, while Spark Of Madness remains capable of better should he get more of the basics right this time.
Any of the three handicapping newcomers may yet make light of their respective initial official marks, though El Jefe will have to prove more tractable if he’s to do so. LIZZIE LOCH and Mr Melda can prosper assuming this is run as a sufficiently robust test at the trip, and the former, a previous good-ground Flat winner, is narrowly preferred. Back down in class, Xpo Universel makes easily the most appeal of the more established competitors.
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