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Colin Tizzard’s ROSE OF ARCADIA was a slightly disappointing favourite when fourth on her hurdle debut in October, but she’s had a wind op since and is given another chance to build upon last season’s impressive success in a heavy-ground Taunton bumper.
Shore Shanty had to work hard to justify short-odds favouritism on last month’s hurdle debut, but she also looked useful in bumpers and is feared most. Cases can also be made for Belle De Manech and Fontaine Collonges.
Momella looked on good terms with herself at Exeter last week and, along with the other penalised runner Pink Legend, is greatly feared. However, chasing debutante CILL ANNA should leave her recent hurdling form behind now she is returned to testing conditions, and she has a point-to-point background.
NEARLY PERFECT, Sizing Cusimano and Smuggler’s Blues, preferred in that order, have set out their claims by figuring prominently this season. Neil King’s charge made all over course and distance in early January and tracked leaders when scoring comfortably in six-runner race at Wetherby three weeks ago.
Both of those efforts were on soft ground and there was a lesser show on heavy going at Ascot two weeks later in January. But, 5lb rise may well underestimate him and he’s a leading contender if the ground is okay.
In an open handicap a chance is taken on AMELIA’S DANCE. The hood is an interesting addition given she’s shown a tendency to race freely, yet she was still best of the rest behind a subsequent winner last time. Freddie Darling and Chez Castel Mail are interesting handicap debutants.
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The swing in the weights which Southfield Harvest enjoys with SHANG TANG from their Ascot clash might not be enough to turn the tables over this trip, with the Nicholls contender perhaps more in need of a longer trip than his Emma Lavelle-trained rival. Mario De Pail is third on the list following his Wetherby win, with Duc De Beauchene another principal were he to run as well as he did on his reappearance.
Un Prophete should go well on testing ground that suits him and with his assured stamina likely to prove a useful asset. However, although he’s been out for a long time it could pay to risk the still-young I SEE YOU WELL. He moved well for a long way in a better handicap than this on his last appearance and dropping in distance could work in his favour under these conditions.
Scanning is an interesting newcomer from last year’s winning stable, but he’ll need to be good to beat KANDOO KID, who was a close fourth at Ascot when one of the favourites for a warm-looking race.
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