Rooster and GUSSY MAC both displayed significant promise in the same good-quality Newmarket novice four days earlier and may fight this out. Both are likely to improve but Gussy Mac kept on to finish just ahead of Rooster, having started slowly, and will arguably have benefited more from that experience. Swooper made a promising debut too and may also feature.
Snash should put his previous experience to good use and he can make a bold bid but there are interesting newcomers in opposition. Holwah, Archibar and Bodak Yellow are feared but FUNKY BEAR looks the part on paper and gets the tentative vote
Some interesting handicap debutants, notably Kilconquhar, Silent Agenda and Tommy Rock, but NIBRAS SHADOW looked more than capable of winning races off her mark when third at Newcastle on her reappearance
Heavens Open sets the standard on her peak 2yo form and is respected on her AW/seasonal debut but preference is for RUBIA BELLA. David Simcock’s filly returns from over a year off but she made a promising start with her close call at Kempton last May and has plenty of scope for progress this season. Don’t Tell Claire is another key player after her much-improved second at Chelmsford 12 days ago.
Mr Strutter defied this draw when given an enterprising ride over the extended 1m here this month and he looks more convincing than most but it could be worth chancing ROBBEN RAINBOW. The 6yo had some mixed results after his dead-heat on turf last May but he ran well in a better race over C&D on his return from a break in 2018 and is down a fair way in the weights. Roca Magica should also have a say.
Tanqeeb, who came good for Ian Williams in the early part of this year, can pose a significant threat if aided by the fitting of cheekpieces today but it may pay to give another chance to GIVINITSUM.
Eve Johnson Houghton’s 6yo is 0-8 in Britain after suffering a heavy defeat on turf this month but might settle better if reverting to more patient tactics this time and is now 4lb lower than when placed over 9.4f here in March. Star Of Valour ended 2019 in very good form and is also considered, while it will be interesting to see what Michael Appleby can do with his new recruit Rock Icon.
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