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HOPE PROBE kept on well for fifth in an all-weather handicap at Lingfield that worked out very well a month ago and, having been eased 1 lb in the weights since, he must go well if proving as effective on turf (ran creditably at Hamilton on debut). Mellys Flyer has the hood back on for handicap debut and is a threat, while Ginato is expected to step up on a low-key start for Roger Fell.
This doesn’t look a deep race and looks a perfect opportunity for AQUAMAN to open his account. He progressed with each start last season and he shaped well in a good-looking race at Yarmouth when last seen in October. Aquaman put his experience to good use, dictating matters from the front, only to be picked off by a potentially smart type inside the final furlong. That form sets a tall standard in this event and he should prove too strong for another southern-raider in Muhalhel, who shaped well on his return at Chelmsford earlier this month.
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QUEEN’S SARGENT is a useful handicapper who caught the eye on his seasonal reappearance in the Spring Mile at Doncaster last month. It was by no means a vintage renewal of the Lincoln consolation race, but Queen’s Sargent displayed that all of his ability remains intact, making smooth headway just over two furlongs out before his effort petered out as though he would come on a fair bit for the run. A strongly-run mile is probably at the limit of his stamina, so the drop back to seven furlongs at this sharper track is very much in his favour, and he remains just 1 lb above his last winning mark. Parys Mountain is sure to be popular following his course and distance win two weeks ago, but Queen’s Sargent is better treated and looks a good bet at the likely prices.
MEDICINE JACK got right back on track when capitalising on a good mark at Newcastle earlier this month, showing a great attitude to fend off all rivals inside the final furlong, and remains weighted to go close again despite being raised 3 lb by the assessor. Round The Island made an encouraging return when third at Redcar so is feared most, although Fendale is another not taken lightly now he reverts back to six furlongs.
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The returning POT OF PAINT remains a maiden, but was consistent last term, including in some deeper races than this one, and is selected to bring Wise Eagle’s winning run to an end from what still looks a fair mark. Molinari made a solid start for Martin Todhunter here recently and looks best of the remainder.
This looks competitive for the grade, but the Nigel Tinkler-trained HIGH SECURITY caught the eye on just his third start for this yard when finishing a close fifth over course and distance earlier this month. He was always on the backfoot following a tardy start, but travelled as though he could be better than this mark in first-time cheekpieces. He was doing all of his best work at this finish so, granted he breaks from the stalls in better fashion, he should be bang in the mix. Electric Blue and Bert Kibbler should also be on the premises.
HARROGATE is threatening to come good soon, and having run well when second on just his third start for this yard over course and distance a fortnight ago, can go one better and register his first victory for some time. Stablemate Requiems Dream could be interesting, while the tough Red Stripes could figure returned to turf.
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