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HUNTERS STEP looked unlucky not to make a winning start for Gay Kelleway over course and distance 18 days ago and, with a good value 7lbs claimer taking over, compensation may well await. He attracted support in the betting too, which suggests that his new yard feel he is well handicapped and with a clearer run he would have landed that support. Hunters Step is now 3lbs higher in the weights, but is one to keep on side in a modest event.
The George Baker-trained MAMILLIUS arrives in great heart having won his last two starts at this track, very strong in the betting when winning a 6-furlong handicap last time in tenacious style. He stayed on well on that occasion the get up in the dying strides and a subsequent 3lbs rise looks fair. The return to this longer trip ought to be in his favour and he is fancied to complete a hat-trick at the main expense of Inevitable Outcome, who ran well under a penalty at Wolverhampton last time.
BUNGLEDUPINBLUE remains a maiden, but has fallen 13lbs in the weights since entering handicaps and looks too well treated to ignore now. She ran up to her best on her debut for this yard three starts back, going like the best horse at the weights.
But, she was outclassed in a better event next time and wasn’t suited by the drop back to 5 furlongs on her latest start. Bungledupinblue did shape better than the bare result on that occasion though, and is well worth another chance with a top 5lb-claimer booked.
ABOVE was a useful juvenile in 2019 and was thought good enough to contest the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot on his reappearance last season. He has since looked an improved model since fitted with cheekpieces and switched to the all-weather the last twice.
He was only beaten by a couple of smart performers on an artificial surface, and this doesn’t look as deep. Streamline proved he retains ability in the same event and is feared most.
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PASSIONAL overcame unfavourable circumstances to complete the hat-trick after just three days off over course and distance last time, so must be of interest again. She hasn’t been with Stuart Williams long, but he has clearly found the key to her.
The manner of her latest success suggests she could go in again. She is now 6lbs higher in the weights, but is expected to confirm the form with Mercers, while Buy Me Back could pose the biggest threat.
ARIJ opened his account when dead-heating at Chelmsford last month, and quickly discarded a below-par run when running a career-best effort in defeat back at that venue last time. He was probably unfortunate not to win too, collared late on by one coming from much further back having attempted to make all.
Arij did plenty in front that day, and it is wise that connections turn him out quickly being able to race from the same mark. Hollie Doyle gets on board for the first time and another bold bid is expected.
LIVERPOOL KNIGHT is a well-related colt who shaped with plenty of promise on debut at Wolverhampton earlier this month, a tardy start leaving him in a hopeless position given how the race panned out.
There was plenty to glean from that run though, getting the hang of things in the final half of the race and doing all of his best work at this finish. Liverpool Knight is likely to improve considerably for that experience, while the step up to a mile-and-a-quarter is also in his favour.
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