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KING D’ARGENT has done nothing but progress over fences, winning all three of his completed starts in this sphere. Judged by his latest success at Warwick, he may still be ahead of his mark following a 9lbs rise.
He has been found another small field here and could dominate. Return Ticket had a confidence booster at Sedgefield last month and looks on a fair mark back in a handicap, so rates the main threat.
An ultra-competitive handicap featuring a host of last-time-out winners, including FIVE STAR GETAWAY. Christian Williams’ charge is rising up the handicap fast, defying a 15lbs rise in the weights to complete a hat-trick at Haydock recently, again doing so with a real swagger.
The handicapper has reacted again, but he promises to do better still over fences and is fancied to continue his winning sequence. Irish-raider Pilbara, Flegmatik and Admiral Barratry head up the dangers.
MILKWOOD‘s third-place finish in the County Hurdle can be marked up given his position on the day, making his burst to the front too soon. It also looks even better still now given the winner Belfast Banter’s exploits at Aintree.
He can land this good prize if in the same form after just a 2lbs rise in the weights. Progressive novices Calico and Tommy’s Oscar figure high among the dangers.
ALLMANKIND got taken on for the lead in the Arkle, but faces less taxing company here. There’s a good chance he’ll be able to dominate in this field, so he can land a third graded win of an excellent first season over fences. Tamaroc du Mathan is another who has already tasted success at this level and remains with plenty of potential, so he can give Dan Skelton’s charge most to do.
Title-chasing Brian Hughes steps in for the ride on DINGO DOLLAR, with Ryan Mania staying loyal to his Cheltenham hero Vintage Clouds. He can build on his comfortable Newcastle win and make it two-from-two since joining Sandy Thomson.
He remains well handicapped on the pick of his form and should be suited by this test. In a race which may be dominated by Scottish-trained horses, the chief threats can come from the ultra-consistent Aye Right and Midlands National second Mighty Thunder.
WETLANDS had plenty in hand when completing a hat-trick at Carlisle just over a fortnight ago, looking a seriously progressive horse. With plenty of potential still to be unlocked after only five starts over hurdles, he’s taken to make his first start in handicaps a winning one.
Enemy Coast Ahead looks another improver and could provide the main threat for Olly Murphy after an eight-month break, ahead of Bass Rock.
An interesting race with several holding claims, notably GLENTRUAN, who continued his theme of race-by-race progress over hurdles when successful in a Cork maiden over this trip in March. There should be even more to come from him, and he can do better again now his sights are set on handicaps. Floating Rock, Deniliquin and 2019 winner Castletown top the shortlist.
FLEMENSTIDE is a well-bred sort who had plenty to spare when opening his account at Exeter around three months ago and, under another positive ride, he’s taken to defy a penalty despite the presence of some promising opposition in the shape of High Worth and Irish-raider Drumbear.
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