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Topweight JURISTE displays a rather awkward head carriage, but he stuck to his task well when third at Wolverhampton on his handicap debut and today’s ease in grade can enable him to gain a breakthrough win. Helix ran very well in defeat over course and distance on his latest appearance and is second choice. Lopes Dancer is also likely to be on the premises.
This can go to PITCHER’S POINT, who is John Gosden’s only runner on the card and whose rider takes off a valuable 7lbs. The selection remains open to further progress on all-weather. Starfighter may prove the biggest threat.
Having made a promising debut at Wolverhampton in December, THREE PLATOON is the one to beat. Pillar Of Hope and the two newcomers need to be monitored closely for market confidence.
Few of these could be described as regular winners. The only one of them to be placed last time was My Sister Jo and she ought to be thereabouts again, but the once-useful TOOFI gets the nod after three respectable efforts off marks in the 50s.
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A tricky event and the market should be informative. The Hulk has won two of his three starts this winter and is respected on his handicap debut. Kevin The Minion chased home an odds-on rival in a similar race at Kempton last time and has each-way claims again, while Blue Hero looks interesting on his return to sprinting.
However, it might be worth siding with OUT OF THE EAST, who didn’t get much luck behind two subsequent winners in a course and distance novice last month and could have a big part to play in her first handicap.
Most of these have something to prove on one count or another, but WICKLOW WARRIOR raised his form to a new level when going very close in a similar race over course and distance last month and has strong claims if he can repeat the form. The main danger is six-time course winner Star Cracker, who was a creditable front-running third behind the selection here on his recent return from a break.
An interesting race in which the vote goes to BUY ME BACK (NAP), who made it two wins from her last three starts when scoring in good style at Wolverhampton and remains feasibly treated off her revised mark.
Loulin has won over course and distance the last twice and is feared most in his hat-trick bid, though Pearl Of Qatar had another near miss here last time and is respected on her drop back in trip. The other one on the shortlist is the generally reliable Fashion Advice.
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