Only two runners have been declared but they were both useful novice hurdlers last season and there may not be much between them. THE WOLF never really looked dangerous when seventh in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham in March but he was only beaten about 18l there and might be just too strong for Thegallantway.
Olly Murphy’s 7yo THE BUTCHER SAID made good progress over hurdles last season and made a very promising start to his chasing career this summer. He ought to be hard to beat here. Diomede Des Mottes and Snow Leopardess were useful over hurdles and are interesting recruits to chasing but the main threat to the selection may come from last month’s course winner Cool Destination.
Teqany is not opposed lightly after his good performance at Newton Abbot four weeks ago but another chance is given to the novice, EL BORRACHO. Oliver Greenall’s 5yo finished only fifth when favourite for his recent handicap debut but was denied a clear run in the home straight and can do better if more settled in the early stages this time. Valentino Dancer is next on the list but a decent case can be made for all nine runners.
The most obvious answer is LOCK’S CORNER, who had his task made easier when the favourite flopped at Southwell last month but won comfortably there and looks progressive. The veteran Dream Bolt ran well in defeat at Newton Abbot four weeks ago and is feared most. Pogue and Twotwothree make their seasonal debuts here but can also feature.
Huntingdon winner Fugitives Drift chased home a useful rival at Kempton on his latest start in March but slight preference is for FIRAK, who has a good chance on today’s terms if judged on his Warwick second in February. Finisk River and Polish have also shown useful form, and add depth to an interesting novice hurdle.
This might go to BBOLD, who came good over fences with an easy win at Stratford in July and was third in a competitive race there this month. If today’s slightly longer trip suits, he could have more to offer. Mahlermade lacks a recent outing but ran well on both starts last winter and will be suited by today’s ground. Lightly raced 7yo Manofthemountain took well to chasing for his new stable last season and is next on the list.
The pick is DEL DUQUE (nap), who was very strong in the closing stages when making a winning handicap debut over 2m4f last month and has the potential to improve again over today’s longer trip. Grageelagh Girl was a shade disappointing on her latest outing but had a wind op soon afterwards and is a player if judged on her two other runs this summer. Tango Echo Charlie and Gray Day are others for the shortlist
The Racing Post’s tips at Bangor on Tuesday
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