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A maiden handicap in all but name. Most of the runners are handicap newcomers and the likeliest improvers are at the head of the weights, namely Tease And Seize, One Last Dance and Potato Park in that order of preference. HIROSHI has the most compelling piece of handicap form and he’s open to further progress upped in trip with cheekpieces applied.
It remains to be seen whether Barenboim backs up his Kempton effort and in any case he’s taking on two very interesting newcomers, namely AL WAQIDI and Monbaher in that order of preference. King Of Tsavo is likely to improve and may end up faring best of those with experience.
Velocistar is the only winner in the field, having opened her account at Southwell last Sunday, but her recent improvement has come at 6 furlongs. Preference is for APACHE MIST who went very close over course and distance two starts back. Toplight ties in closely with the selection, while class-dropper Rose All Day completes the shortlist.
Iconic Knight, Araifjan and Steelriver are closely matched on C&D running nine days ago but it remains to be seen whether the form will hold up, since they are all drawn much wider this time. A chance is taken that STREET PARADE will come back into better form and cope with the trip. He’s very well handicapped on his best 5-furlong performances.
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Only a small field, but it’s a tough race to call. DUSK and Horn Of Plenty are closely matched on ratings, Halfwaytothemoon has possibilities if taking well to headgear, Atavique is open to progress and Green Planet looks interesting switched to the Flat. Tentative preference is for Dusk, but be prepared for any outcome.
It’s been a frustrating period for INNER CIRCLE, but surely his turn will come and, from a good draw, this looks very winnable. Chiarodiluna is better than she showed last time and is the second choice.
De Little Engine is a big danger after returning to form on the back of wind surgery, but there could be a big run in STEAL THE SCENE, who returns here for the first time since racking up a hat-trick last winter.
The standout contender is DOCTOR NUNO (NAP), who won with sufficient authority here last week to believe he’ll be fine with a penalty and it’s just a question of whether he stays this longer trip. Black Medick and Global Acclamation are closely matched on a recent encounter, but perhaps G For Gabrial can be the main threat.
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