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There were positives to glean from ALQAMAR‘s hurdles debut at Carlisle where he chased home the promising Word Has It, form which both the winner and third have since boosted. That run will have blown away the cobwebs (first appearance for 27 months) and improvement should be forthcoming. The Caretaker also made an encouraging hurdles bow at Carlisle and is next best ahead of Flat winner Culture.
A wide-open big field handicap with the vote in favour of GETTHEPOT. He’s showed improved form for the switch to handicaps in recent months, keeping on for third at around this trip at Huntingdon latest. He can come out on top, possibly at the chief expense of Silken Moonlight, Old Jewry and Dancing Doug.
Cases can be made for the majority of these. Preference is for BAFANA BLUE, who did the job well at Wetherby on penultimate start and his recent effort in a Perth marathon was highly respectable. The 10-year-old remains on an attractive mark. Bootlegger arrives here in good form and is a much-respected main danger, while William of Orange also enters calculations.
ASK HENRY‘s latest Warwick second looks solid form, so he might be worth siding with to go one better off only 1lb higher. Manetti and The Ogle Gogle Man were second and fourth in the same course and distance handicap at the Scottish National meeting and head the dangers along with Kelso-scorer Sidi Ismael.
BURNT ASH‘s latest effort at Fairyhouse was rather subdued, but she shaped well prior to that when fourth in a big-field Navan maiden and may well improve now faced with a stiffer test. She gets the nod ahead of the steadily progressive Charm Offensive, who will be a big threat if coping with the forecast sound surface (only raced on heavy going to date). Miss Tara Moss also has claims.
MANNOCHMORE was beaten 13 lengths when fourth to Roxboro Road at Musselburgh in March, but he subsequently improved when scoring at Kelso and there should be more to come from this six-year-old.
Furthermore, he meets Ben Haslam’s charge on 17lbs better terms now. Roxboro Road is still second choice, despite rocketing up the weights, given that Relkadam is likely to find conditions too lively here.
LARGY TRAIN represents a trainer/jockey combination who struck with a winning bumper newcomer at the Scottish National meeting here last month and a big run could be on the way. Sir Jimmy Allen and Ned Tanner both shaped well first time up and can improve.
Nicky Richards has a cracking record in bumpers at Ayr and SOFT RISK could be set for a big run first time up. £210,000 Irish point winner Here Comes The Man is another contender who makes obvious appeal on paper. Barrier Peaks could yet build on a promising debut having been given a break since disappointing at Uttoxeter.
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