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As many as six runners here could take a significant step forward if helping themselves and/or their riders more than last time, with Dorking Lad and Grisbi De Berce the most appealing of those. There’s less to have to take on trust about RUNSWICK BAY, second in a pair of Exeter hurdles already this autumn and with no obvious track or ground issues. Confirmation Bias, like the selection a Wincanton bumper winner, enters calculations if a moderate hurdling debut is forgiven.
Vinnie’s Getaway is much better than he showed on his latest outing and remains unexposed over this sort of trip. However, the pick is ARKYN, who is now 5lb lower than when making his encouraging seasonal/handicap debut in September and can be excused his subsequent defeat on soft ground. Nobel Joshua should also be on the premises.
Peckinpah needs to settle better, but he shows aptitude for hurdling and this sharp test can suit. However, he is still a maiden and preference is for FIRST QUEST, who showed more at Plumpton on his second start back from a lay-off and has good claims providing the ground is no worse than good to soft. John Constable has dropped a long way in the weights and another revival is not out of the question, while High Change is one to keep an eye on now handicapping.
The lightly raced Forgetthesmalltalk may improve for tackling fences, a remark which also applies to Normandy Soldier, Sandy Boy and God Knows Why. However, the percentage call looks to be KAUTO THE KING, who has won and been placed on both starts over fences and may appreciate this step up in distance.
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This is a step up in grade for DAVE AND BERNIE (NAP), but last month’s stable-debut success at Ludlow was a shade more comfortable than the winning margin might suggest. He could have quite a bit more to offer over today’s longer trip.
He gets the vote ahead of Foreign Secretary, who ran well in defeat here four weeks ago. Sheshoon Sonny is next on the list, but course and distance winner Air Horse One is very well handicapped if in the right mood today, while Fair Mountain also lurks on a dangerous mark.
There may be more to come from the unexposed De Barley Basket, but a 6lbs rise may also make him vulnerable and in a weak contest the suggestion is WRITE IT DOWN. The Jonjo O’Neill-trained six-year-old should benefit from a slight drop in grade and this trip may prove to be his optimum. Come On Charlie is not written off.
An interesting contest. There was plenty to like about the course and distance success of Espressino, while Marilyn Monroe showed a good attitude to score over 3m here last time. However, SEHAYLI has suddenly hit form of late and his latest cheeky-looking Wincanton win suggests he remains the one to be with. Handicap newcomer Potters Vision also looks interesting.
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