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FALL OF ROME was strong in the market and made a promising debut when runner-up at Ascot earlier in the month, not as clued up nor as speedy as the useful winner, but promising to have a lot more to offer. He is taken to build on that and he should prove a tough nut to crack. Andrew Balding’s Masekela appeals most of the newcomers and is worth a market check.
All four of MARGUB’s wins have come on the all-weather, but he scored in taking style at Wolverhampton last month, proving at least as good as ever and Marcus Tregoning’s low-mileage six-year-old is fancied to defy a 4 lb rise at a track his trainer often targets. It will likely be at the chief expense of Dulas, who has finished runner-up on his last two starts and could have to play bridesmaid once more. Cold Stare and Starshiba can fight it out for minor honours in a useful handicap.
Though she doesn’t hold any fancy entries at this stage, TALBEYAH looked good when beating a subsequent winner by six lengths at Chepstow last month, lengthening away in the style of a smart filly, and she can be expected to take this step up in class in her stride. Ready To Venture’s reappearance third at Ascot was promising and she is greatly respected now faced with a stiffer test, too.
YEAR OF THE DRAGON has few miles on the clock and looked comfortably ahead of his opening mark when a smooth-travelling second at Ascot a fortnight ago. That was also his turf debut and he should have plenty more to offer. That looks strong form, so a subsequent 5 lb rise in the weights is fair, and he makes most appeal in what could be a well-contested three-year-old handicap. Toronado Grey and Luckiness strike as formidable opponents, though.
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Armed with a Derby entry and bundles of potential, STAY WELL looks the way to go. He was impressive when making all on his reappearance in a maiden at Windsor, well suited by the step up in trip while leaving the impression he would progress again for these extra two furlongs. He’s an exciting colt and will take plenty of stopping providing conditions don’t pose a problem. Aleas is feared greatly on the back of his demolition job at Haydock and further rain won’t ruffle his feathers, but the ground is a worry where Yibir is concerned.
EAST ASIA was a long-standing maiden in the Middle East, but had a fair bit in hand when making a successful start for the Ian Williams stable at Newbury a week ago, showing much improved form. He looks very well treated wisely turned out under a 5 lb penalty and he could take a bit of stopping if seeing out the longer trip. Solar Screen, Prince Imperial and Orin Swift are quite closely matched on recent course form and head the dangers.
VIRGINIA PLANE has the style of racing ideal for this speed-favouring five-furlong trip at this track and, having progressed well this term, may well prove tough to peg back on the front-end partnered by Tom Marquand. The selection dead-heated with re-opposing Four Adaay at Lingfield recently and she looks the biggest threat again.
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