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Ventura Flame can have her latest Beverley success upgraded and this dual course and distance winner still looks well treated. In SOUL SEEKER, she might be up against an even better-handicapped opponent though and David O’Meara’s four-year-old can follow up Wednesday’s smooth success at Pontefract.
Mark Johnston runs three and all can be given a chance, with Hochfeld turning out under a penalty, The Trader set to benefit from Andrew Breslin’s claim and Notation running off the same mark as when narrowly defeated eight days ago.
Alright Sunshine is likely to go close in first-time headgear, but the verdict goes to MORISCO, who shaped as if 1m 5f will be within his range when keeping on into fourth under Jane Elliott at Thirsk. The highly progressive Ben Lilly cannot be left out of calculations either.
Four of these are closely matched with interlinking form lines, but the exception is the unbeaten DRAGON SYMBOL. Today’s contest demands different qualities from him, but he appears to have plenty of speed and ought to cope with the drop to 5 furlongs. He’s selected to complete the four-timer with Burning Cash and Muker the main threats in that order.
It was a nice reappearance run from EL PICADOR when he kept on for third at Redcar and, as a winning hurdler, it’s a little surprising he’s not raced beyond 1m 2f until now. Where’s Jeff and Puckle are also entitled to come on for their first runs of the season and are feared in that order of preference.
This can go to JACKHAMMER (NAP), who was short-headed on his reappearance at Ayr on Tuesday and won twice in 2019 with gaps of five days or less between his races. Wild Hope, Howzer Black and Delph Crescent all arrive on the back of solid runs in defeat and perhaps Monday’s Ayr runner-up Howzer Black will be the main danger.
David O’Meara has trained three of the last four winners of this race, and his Estad certainly shaped better than the result on his debut 11 days ago. But, he has plenty to find with the promising FANTASTIC FOX, who may only have to repeat the form of his Newbury third to get off the mark. Poet’s King could turn out to be his main threat.
The admirable Pearl Of Qatar should make another bold bid, but a 5lbs penalty means she may have to eke out some more improvement. YUKON MISSION is still seeking her first win, but her placed efforts last August represent solid enough form and after a pipe-opener at Redcar she could be ready to strike. Kilconquhar appeals most of the remainder.
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