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GEMOLOGIST is still a maiden, but is fairly consistent and perhaps she can finally get off the mark. Last year’s runner-up Smart Lass could be the one to give her most to do if over whatever caused her to be pulled up on the Flat at Catterick last month. Headscarf Lil showed enough in bumpers to suggest she can also make her presence felt.
GAELIK COAST impressed in the jumping department when getting up near the finish on his Fakenham chase debut and gets the nod to follow up despite the fact we’re not going to see the very best of him until he goes over further. Return Ticket ought to find this easier than the Cheltenham novice he ran in last time and may provide the chief threat on his first start after wind surgery.
There should be more to come from UNIVERSAL FOLLY now making a quick switch to handicaps over a longer trip and he can strike for the Nicky Richards/Brian Hughes combination. Cremant and Sidi Ismael arrive on the back of some good runs in similar company and can give the selection most to think about.
MINT GOLD has made a positive start over fences and looks capable of winning again on the back of his Kelso second. Most of his rivals have something to prove for one reason or another, but Cesar du Gouget is becoming well treated.
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RAYMOND arrives at the top of his game and may be able to extend his winning run, despite a career-high mark. Enlighten and Dubai Days head the list of dangers.
Having been given a chance by the assessor, BOOTLEGGER showed form akin to the pick of his exploits over timber when third at Market Rasen 18 days ago – keeping on from two out. He earns the vote to back that up again partnered by Brian Hughes. Henry’s Joy, in refitted blinkers, and Izzy’s Champion, reverting to chasing, head up the dangers.
Though yet to conclusively prove that they stay this far, ELLE EST GRANDE and Green Zone both shaped as though worth another crack at this trip in the recent Kelso handicap won by Old Jewry. Green Zone fared the better of the two on that occasion, but Keith Dalgleish’s charge is comparatively unexposed and may well turn the tables here if able to build on that effort. Always Tipsy also has claims.
MIND YOUR BACK‘s latest effort at Plumpton was decent and, now 3lbs lower in the weights, he could be the answer. It’s likely that Pakie’s Dream will emerge as the main danger, if able to back up his recent solid display over fences back in this sphere with blinkers enlisted. Kisumu is best of the rest.
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