Irish point winner Proper Ticket shaped with some encouragement over shorter trips in three starts in mares’ novice hurdles, but she could be a different proposition now entering handicaps and facing a sterner test of stamina.
Trainer Fergal O’Brien has had his string in fine form all season, while leading rider Brian Hughes is an eye-catching jockey booking which suggests that a bold bid is expected from a fair-looking opening mark. Raddle And Hum shaped like a non-stayer when fourth over further last time but is still lightly raced and entitled to respect given this more suitable test.
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Crixus’s Escape, a three-time winner over hurdles, was below form on his debut over fences at Catterick in January, beating only one rival home. However, he produced a much more encouraging performance at the same venue last time, chasing home a promising rival and impressing with how he jumped. The return to handicap company will help, while the step up in trip should also suit, and Crixus’s Escape could have more to offer in this sphere.
Ascot de Bruyere has not been at his best of late but is falling in the weights and would be a danger if able to recapture the form he showed last season.
Destinys Choice has shown only modest form over hurdles but she did score in an Irish point, and is a half-sister to three winners, so it would not be a surprise were she capable of better yet. She failed to show improved form on her handicap debut at Catterick in January, but the drop back to two miles would not have suited, and she should be more effective over this kind of distance.
First Assembly has shaped like a real stayer and has finished runner-up on both starts in handicap company. He looks sure to give another good account from a fair mark, so he is considered a big threat.