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ALRIGHT SUNSHINE is a likeable and enthusiastic sort who has displayed useful form in bumpers and on the Flat more recently. He is Flat bred, but won three of his four starts in bumpers, and represents a yard that are adept at readying one for jumping. The ones with experience don’t set an exacting standard and Alright Sunshine makes a fair bit of appeal.
FLOOD DEFENCE is a multiple winner on the Flat and ran her best race to date over hurdles when beaten a neck in second at Sedgefield last month. She was easy to back, but travelled comfortably in the race and made good headway out wide three flights from home before blundering the second-last. Flood Defence kept to her task well though, and has scope from this mark based on her Flat form. She looks the one to side with.
DEFINITE WISDOM has a mixed record over fences so far, but he made it two from two over this course and distance when resuming winning ways two weeks ago. He showed improved form from his reappearance run in a first-time visor, getting a good ride from this jockey.
He jumped adequately and quickening up nicely in between five and four out. He was well on top at the finish and remains lightly raced for his age, so isn’t one to dismiss.
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This looks wide open and it could be worth taking a chance on ORIENT SUNSET, who comes out top on Timeform weight-adjusted ratings. She ran her best race to date over hurdles when fifth at Newcastle last time, starting 150/1 and beaten over 19 lengths, but showing glimpses of ability at the same time. She is the sort to improve now moving up in trip and into handicaps, and should be up to winning races from a mark in the 80s at some point.
WAKOOL shaped well in a couple of juvenile events on his first two starts for this yard last season and made a winning handicap debut from a 3lbs lower mark at Doncaster in January. He stepped up markedly for his reappearance when finishing third behind a subsequent winner at Carlisle in October.
He had no problem with the step up to this trip when filling the same position at Ayr last times. Wakool has left the impression he is up to winning races from this mark the last twice and the fitting of first-time cheekpieces could eke out a bit more.
OVERCOURT was progressive over hurdles last season, winning his last two starts in handicaps, and produced a promising first effort over fences when runner-up in a beginners’ chase on his return at Sedgefield in October.
That was his first run for seven months, jumping well in the main and travelling fluently, only headed at the final fence and pulling clear of the remainder. He is entitled to have come on for that now and he appeals as being well treated now handicapping in this sphere for the first time.
Newcomers LARGY GIFT and Sauce of Life are both appealing on paper and it will look significant if there’s confidence behind either in the betting. Preference is for the former, who hails from a yard which has hit the target with three of its last five runners in bumpers, two of which were making their Rules debut and one of which was over this course and distance.
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