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The Tom Symonds-trained INNISFREE LAD has been in excellent form in recent weeks and Cillin Leonard’s very useful 7lb claim can enable him to extend his winning spree here. Hidden Depths needs the rain to stay away but his very close second at Taunton last month was a good effort and he is feared most. Get Real is upped significantly in trip for today’s handicap debut and also looks interesting.
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Kevin Brogan has been seen to good effect of late and has a good shout of another winner here courtesy of VIKING RUBY, who was arguably a bit better than the result suggests last time and has sound claims even without taking her rider’s 7lb claim into account. Conditions seem unlikely to be as testing as Espoir Moriviere has encountered when winning on his last two starts but he’s still respected as an in-form sort. Petite Ganache is another likely to be in the shake-up.
6yo DON’T NEED TO KNOW is taken to build on his encouraging opening effort over fences and get off the mark. Geordielandgangsta failed to fire on his chase debut when last seen in January but he returns with the Rose Dobbin team going well and this former Irish point runner-up retains some potential as a chaser. Furius De Ciergues was a sound fourth on his reappearance and also makes the shortlist under Brian Hughes.
A hurdle win has proved elusive for Rubytwo, and she was well beaten when odds-on for this race in 2018. She looks very likely to be involved in the shake-up but preference is for SHANTOU STREET, who has fewer miles on the clock and has taken well to jumping. A market move for one of the hurdling debutantes would be significant.
An interesting veterans’ chase. Doktor Glaz and Crocodile Dundee both bid for an unconventional hat-trick, the former after 950 days off, the latter after two wins in handicap hurdles. Neither can be ruled out but the reliable KING’S WHARF gets the vote.
The obvious starting point here is Chanting Hill, who made a winning debut over fences at Kelso and should go well again. Second and third at Hereford recently, Prettylittlething and TB Broke Her ought to be thereabouts once more, but a chance is taken that cheekpieces make a positive difference to CALLE MALVA. A winning hurdler, she has had possible excuses in her first couple of chases and has been given a chance by the handicapper.
A warm handicap hurdle with three last-time-out winners meeting several others who look well treated on their best form. Phoenix Dawn is turned out quickly after finishing second when well backed on his debut for Dr Richard Newland on Sunday. He’s tempting, but the progressive profile of DANCEWITHTHEWIND (nap) is even more attractive and this unexposed 5yo gets the vote. Orkan has solid form and should be thereabouts.
The market will be revealing for a bumper that looks wide open on paper. Of those to have run under rules, Lingfield winner Hawa Bladi is much respected, as is the promising Hexham fourth Wolf Run. Tommy’s Oscar’s wealth of experience in points should not be underestimated, either, but perhaps this will go to one of several interesting newcomers. Grand Du Nord, Jante Law and Mount Stewart all look plausible but preference is for LORD BUTTONS, whose outstanding half-sister made a winning debut in a bumper nearly seven years ago.
The Racing Post’s tips at Newcastle on Friday
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