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ROBIN DES SMOKE showed a good deal more than she had in a couple of bumpers when finishing runner-up on her hurdling debut at Wetherby a fortnight ago, just unable to go with the odds-on favourite when the race began in earnest.
She is entitled to progress for that experience now, and is put forward as the answer in what doesn’t look the strongest race. Trump Lady and Hollymount Holly both have a bit to prove after running poorly on their last starts, but need respecting nonetheless.
SPECIAL ACCEPTANCE found the Devon National trip beyond him last time, but had been a chaser on the up prior to that, winning over this course and distance in December and finishing a solid second on his next two starts.
He didn’t shape as badly as being pulled up suggests at Exeter, so looks the percentage call in this less-taxing event. Faustinovick continues to run well without getting his head in front so looks set for second best once more off his highest mark yet.
This step up in trip is sure to suit the Nick Gifford-trained JUNGLE PROSE, who looked decidedly one paced when sixth at this course three weeks ago. She has been dropped 2lbs since and should have more to offer than most of these.
Rookie Trainer got back on the up at Wincanton earlier this year and heads up the possible dangers, while handicap debutant Albert Hucklebuck is surely capable of better, too.
EAGLEHILL left his chasing debut well behind and had plenty in hand when opening his account over fences at Taunton earlier this month, travelling well up with the pace for much of the way before turning the screw after the last.
There could be even more to come from him in this sphere and a subsequent 7lbs rise may not be enough to stop him. Present From Dubai is an interesting rival hailing from an in-form yard.
A race which to some extent revolves around TRACTOR FRED, who bolted up by 24 lengths back over fences in a course and distance handicap last week. He had fallen quite a way in the weights, but bounced back to form in no uncertain way.
He will take a good deal of stopping under a 7lbs penalty if in anything like the same form. The consistent Magic River looks the main danger in a race lacking depth.
Though still a maiden, DARKEST DAY has done the majority of his racing over hurdles on slower ground than he’s likely to encounter this time and he is appealing on the back of a very solid effort in a jumpers’ bumper at Lingfield. The addition of a visor may also be to his benefit and he can prove too strong for Mi Laddo, who has been in good heart on the Flat in recent months.
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