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13:45 – NAVELLO
Progressing well and showed fairly useful form to record his second win from three starts at Brighton eight days ago. He was produced to lead entering the final furlong and quickly forged clear to land the spoils by four lengths with plenty in hand. That form sets the standard in this line-up, while the small ‘p’ attached to his Timeform rating denotes that Navello will go on improving. He can bring up the hat-trick from the plum draw in stall 1.
14:15 – DUBAI FOUNTAIN
Achieved a smart level of form in a busy two-year-old campaign, producing her best effort when fourth in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket, one place behind Mother Earth, who gave the form a boost when winning Sunday’s 1000 Guineas. That level of performance reads very well in the context of this race, so Dubai Fountain should take plenty of beating when you factor in her scope for more improvement now stepping up to 10 furlongs for the first time.
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14:45 – SHOWALONG
Shaped with plenty of encouragement when fourth on his reappearance at Thirsk last month, running on well to be beaten only three lengths. He is entitled to be sharper with that outing under his belt and certainly showed enough to suggest he has started life in handicaps from a fair mark. Showalong will also be suited by the softening ground here given that both his two-year-old wins came under similar conditions.
15:15 – WIRKO
Took a big step forward to land the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom last time, relishing the step up to 10 furlongs as he followed up his victory in a Kempton novice six months earlier. Settled in mid-division in the early stages, he took a while to get going but found plenty to lead on the line, ultimately winning by a head. The strength Wirko showed at the finish suggests he’ll be suited by the even longer trip here, so he is taken to follow up to put himself firmly into the Derby picture.
15:45 – UNCLE JUMBO
Was unlucky not to finish closer on his handicap debut at Pontefract last month, looking very much a horse to follow from an opening BHA mark of 94. He travelled strongly through the race but was denied a run at a crucial stage, doing well under the circumstances to be beaten just a length and three quarters. Uncle Jumbo usually races close to the pace and is well drawn to adopt those tactics here. He is worth siding with to gain compensation for his unfortunate run last time.
16:15 – KINGSOFTHEMIDLANDS
Shaped well when fifth on his debut at Newmarket last month, passing the post less than two lengths behind the winner despite hanging right under pressure entering the final two furlongs. That form is better than anything his nine rivals in this maiden have achieved, and he certainly left the impression the experience would bring him on. This looks a good opportunity for Kingsofthemidlands to get off the mark now stepping up to 10 furlongs for his second start.
16:45 – SIR MAXIMILIAN
Well into the veteran stage of his career, but he showed he still retains plenty of ability when sixth on his most recent outing at Haydock, running on well from a poor position to be beaten a little over four lengths. He has often gone well at Chester in the past and is now 5 lb lower in the weights than when recording his latest win over this course and distance in September. A smart sprinter in his prime, Sir Maximilian is fancied to come out on top to provide a popular success in the finale.
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