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Triple silver medallist HOMME PUBLIC, who has leading claims on the figures, is taken to record a deserved success. Fellow Triumph Hurdle entry Keep It Brief looks interesting on his debut over hurdles and he is second choice, ahead of Indigo Lake and Gilbertina.
This open-looking race features several interesting handicap debutantes and a few other potential dangers. The suggestion is AGAINST ALL ODDS, with Fivetotwelve second choice. Midnight Ginger and Off The Hook also figure highly in calculations.
Donald McCain’s MINELLA DRAMA (NAP) may be the only one of the four principals without a novice entry at the Cheltenham Festival, but he has the best form thanks to his narrow defeat in a Grade 2 last time.
That entitles him to the vote. Here Comes Johny and Stoner’s Choice are hard horses to knock, but the second choice is Optimise Prime after he impressed at Hereford last time.
Gran Luna has sound credentials, being an unbeaten mare from the Henderson stable. However, she’s taken on with MARTELLO SKY, who has a leading chance on bare form and looks capable of further progress. Marada and Shore Shanty ideally need drying ground, having gained their wins on good.
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Handicap debutant GIPSY DE CHOISEL gets the vote. He bumped into smart Metier on his first run for Nicky Henderson and looks open to any amount of improvement.
Second choice is Mick Maestro, who has done well since joining Nick Kent and easily beat Miss Heritage last time. Ajero would be very interesting if the ground dries out.
A low-grade handicap may go to LERMOOS LEGEND, who looks mildly progressive. Recent course winner Getaway North is next best, ahead of Lord Sparky and Gouet Des Bruyeres.
First Man had a hard race when third at Wincanton on Saturday, so it’s best to look elsewhere. SHATTERED GLASS has the potential to find something on his handicap/chase debut fifth at Catterick, especially over this longer trip. Rintulla ran a pleasing first race in the blinkers and if backing that up he too should be involved.
This looks no stronger than the bumpers in which FLY BY MILAN was placed at Ayr in the autumn, and it should be a good opportunity for him to get off the mark. Has Troke, successful in France in October, is respected on his first outing for Alex Hales. River Legend could be the pick of the newcomers.
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