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Recent course and distance winner Grimsthorpe Castle is feared under a penalty, while last month’s Newcastle 2-3 Peerless Percy and Amourie enter calculations on their Fibresand debuts. FORTULTOUS ran into a handicap blot on his first run for Tony Carroll though, and he may be able to go one better.
With Society Queen’s win last month having been let down since and Equidae having run poorly on his last three starts, this may be best left to PUCHITA. Her wins have come over shorter, but she stays this far and is more reliable than today’s opposition. Fieldsman may be next best.
With a BHA rating of just 27 and three heavy defeats to her name it’s hard to enthuse about Soberton’s prospects but her dam developed into a smart performer here from humble beginnings and this is much more realistic for her.
Velocistar comes here on the up and is considered, along with David Evans’ pair Plum Run and Lady Roseta, but DRIFTWOOD might be the answer. Scott Dixon’s filly made an encouraging debut here last month and moves into nurseries with more potential than most of her rivals.
Rayyan, a half-brother to smart Fibresand sprinter Exalted Angel, is the unknown quantity in the field and he could take a step forward now handicapping. He’s done plenty wrong in his two starts so far though, and he’s up against some seasoned performers who know exactly what’s required around here. Samovar and Red Stripes are contenders, but SCALE FORCE has slipped to a good mark and this should be more suitable than his last two assignments.
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Model Guest has the best form, but that’s been the case in several other races she’s contested and she’s yet to win one. Quite how she’ll react to Fibresand, especially if she misses the break and gets in the kickback, remains to be seen – and she’s a risky betting proposition. None of the other runners have standout claims, but Black Box and POETRY AND ART are capable of better and the selection is marginally preferred.
Shallow Hal won well over course and distance last time and he should get a good pace to aim at once more, so the 7lb rise may not be beyond him. Zylan should fare better today, while Lucky Lucky Man, Nubough and Crosse Fire also enter calculations.
The progressive filly ICE STATION ZEBRA has to prove herself on all-weather but her latest second, when pulling clear with one who followed up on his next start, was a good run and she may yet have more to offer.
Kyllachy Warrior ran well in defeat over C&D 12 days ago, but he’s drawn wider today and his strike-rate now stands at 0-19. It may well pay to take a chance on SPRING ROMANCE (NAP), who hasn’t fired this year and is unproven on Fibresand, but is very well handicapped if perked up by a recent stable switch. First Excel is also very well handicapped, while Pull Harder Con probably won’t be far away.
Ustath remains unexposed on Fibresand, but he has a bit to prove back over 6 furlongs and is taken on with HIDE YOUR HEART, who is bred to be suited by this surface. Treasured Company needs a close look, while market support for Firsteen should be noted.
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