A lightly-raced winner in Irish points, Poldark Cross made a promising hurdling debut when second at Wetherby last month, headed when lost momentum on landing at the last and left behind by the winner – who has gone in again subsequently – on the run-in. He is open to improvement and won’t be long in getting off the mark under Rules.
Coillte Eile had her first run for Fergal O’Brien in the Veolia Mares’ handicap Hurdle at Ascot last month – a race she won last year – and though she couldn’t repeat that feat, she produced a much more encouraging effort than she had been prior to the stable switch, finishing a good third behind a pair of subsequent winner. She has been nudged up 1 lb in the weights but still looks well treated if able to build on that effort, particularly with O’Brien enjoying such a good season.
A fair and largely consistent hurdler, Mister Murchan probably bettered anything he produced in that sphere as he made a winning start over fences at Fontwell last month, jumping accurately in the main and staying on well to win comfortably. He had a lot more on from 3 lb out of the handicap at Sandown last time but still finished a creditable fourth. He may do better still, particularly now stepped back up in trip, and he should go well now racing off a proper mark.
Dragonfruit got off the mark on his first attempt over fences at Carlisle earlier this month, the fact that the race developed into a real test of stamina a massive positive for Oliver Greenall’s charge, who is bred to relish such conditions. He is up in trip here, and remains open to further improvement, so he must feature high on the shortlist as he makes the switch back to hurdling.
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Successful on his sole outing in points, Muse Of Fire always appealed as the type to make a better chaser than hurdler, and he was in the process of showing improved form on his first outing over fences when departing four out at Ludlow earlier this month. He still looked to have a bit left in the tank when coming to grief, and he holds good claims off the same mark.
Miss Austen made a promising start to her career when third on debut at Taunton back in March 2019, beaten only by a pair with experience, and she showed improved form 10 months on to get off the mark in good style in a Ludlow bumper, creating a good impression as she pulled nine-and-a-half-lengths clear of Rainyday Woman. Miss Austen has an absence to overcome – whereas Rainyday Woman opened her account at Stratford last month (her first outing since joining Paul Nicholls) – but she sets the standard and has a big chance if resuming in the same form.
Happy News unseated her rider on her first attempt over fences at Ludlow in February, but she showed much improved form at the same venue earlier this month, going well in second when left clear four out, eased down in the run-in. The application of a first-time tongue strap, as well as undergoing a breathing operation, were both possible catalysts for her improvement, and given that was just her second start over the larger obstacles, she could have more to offer still.
Silent Revolution came in for plenty of support ahead of his debut at Wincanton last month – sent off the odds-on favourite – and though he couldn’t justify the faith the backers had shown, he did show plenty of ability, looking a much better prospect than the all-the-way winner who’d already accrued plenty of experience. He hails from the powerful Paul Nicholls yard and there is a good chance he can go one better with a run now under his belt.
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