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MUTAWAARID didn’t attract much support on his debut at Wolverhampton last month, but he shaped with plenty of promise and finished runner-up to the odds-on favourite. Mutawaarid understandably showed his inexperience at Wolverhampton, running green inside the final furlong. But, he is entitled to progress significantly for the experience and can prove too good for his rivals here.
This is a competitive event, but it could be worth siding with NAUGHTY ANA. She didn’t show a great deal on her first couple of starts, but posted a more promising performance when third at Ripon last week. Naughty Ana has not raced beyond 6 furlongs, but her running style and pedigree suggest that she will relish this step up to a mile. She strikes as a potential improver on her handicap debut.
This should be a straightforward assignment for the exciting POTAPOVA. She boasts an excellent pedigree, being by Invincible Spirit and out of a daughter of 1000 Guineas winner Russian Rhythm.
She also could hardly have created a better impression on debut, bolting up by 6-and-a-half lengths at Chelmsford in November. She looked something out of the ordinary on debut and should have little trouble defying a penalty before going on to better things.
Those with experience don’t set a high standard, so it could be best to concentrate on the newcomers. CHIEF’S WILL has plenty in his favour as he is a half-brother to the speedy Mighty Gurkha, who trainer Archie Watson enjoyed plenty of success with last year. Watson is well able to ready one at the first attempt, as he showed with Mighty Gurkha, and Chief’s Will is of obvious interest.
Tom Dascombe sent out Ever Given to score on debut at Ripon on Sunday and he saddles another interesting newcomer here in the shape of ROMAN DRAGON. Roman Dragon has plenty of speed in his pedigree as he is by the sprinter Heeraat and out of a useful mare who was successful over 7 furlongs. He is a likely type on paper.
ARMY OF INDIA failed to beat a rival home at Chester recently, but that effort is easy to excuse as he was bumped coming out of the stalls and took a keen hold in rear. He’s better judged on his previous effort at Doncaster, where he was a close-up third in what looked like an interesting 6-furlong handicap – only headed inside the final 100 yards after showing plenty of speed. He is much less exposed than many of these, especially over 5 furlongs, and is up to winning off this mark.
SYMBOL OF HOPE showed some promise in novice company, most notably on his second start at Newcastle where he made good, late headway into fourth. He strikes as a potential improver now entering handicap company. An opening mark of 67 looks fair based on the impression he has created so far.
KING VIKTOR has raised his game since being stepped up in trip this season, winning on both outings. He has been forced to work hard on both occasions, but could still have more to offer with the emphasis on stamina.
He will be suited by this step up in trip. He is a progressive, likeable performer and looks to have been found an excellent opportunity to complete the hat-trick.
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