Guildhall was a fair winner on the Flat but had rather lost his way in that sphere towards the end of last season, so it was encouraging the way he shaped on his hurdle debut at Musselburgh in December, yet to be asked for his effort when hampered three out. He made little impact on his first run of this season, when ninth in a Haydock Flat race last month, but having undergone a breathing operation, there is every chance that outing was nothing more than a pipe-opener, and Guildhall could have more to offer now reverted to the smaller obstacles.
Return Ticket is yet to win over fences but he looked in fine shape and ran as well as he ever had on just his second outing for Rebecca Menzies at Perth in August, leaving his reappearance effort firmly in the distance as he rallied well inside the final 50 yards, just not finding quite enough to overthrow the winner. He was disappointing when again second at Hexham last time, but the stiff track, along with the shorter trip, did not show him to best effect. He is back up in trip here and sports first-time cheekpieces, so is taken to go one better and gain his first win in this code.
Eau Top showed only modest form in a couple of bumpers during the start of 2019, and he ran only to a similar level on his first two races over hurdles this winter, though he did hit the frame on both occasions. Back up in trip for his handicap debut at Newbury in February, he was never really on terms, finishing sixth, but that race has since worked out very well, and now Ben Pauling’s yard aren’t going through such a rough patch, Eau Top could well have more to offer. His current mark is not beyond him and he looks the way to go at the prices.
My Renaissance was strong in the betting and duly capitalised on the chance he had been given by the handicapper at this venue last week, improving on his recent eye-catching runs to land a gamble, produced to lead two out and quickly drawing clear. It is no surprise to see him quickly turned out under a penalty here and he boasts obvious claims up in trip.
An Irish point winner in April 2018, Wild Polly made some appeal on pedigree ahead of her Rules debut at Doncaster in February, and she duly showed plenty to work on, finishing close up behind a fairly useful pair. She sets the clear standard in this race, is open to further improvement, and should have little trouble opening her account at the second attempt.
The Late Legend has run his best two races since being reverted to fences this season, first when finishing second at Uttoxeter in August, left behind by the winner from three out but shaping as though in need of more of a stamina test, and then when again finding only one too good at Newton Abbot last time, seeing out the longer trip well. He remains unexposed in this sphere and is taken to continue his upward momentum.
Eyeofthescorpion was well backed and showed much improved form to make a winning handicap debut at Huntingdon seven days ago, quickening clear in the run-in for just a hands-and-heels ride, scoring in the style of one who’ll go on progressing. He looked well ahead of his opening mark on that occasion and there is every chance he can defy a penalty and follow up.
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