This could well turn out to be quite an informative contest. Heaven Help Us has the benefit of a recent run under her belt, which could count for plenty, but her jumping was a bit iffy, and the Tolworth Hurdle second JEREMYS FLAME can be expected to punish any errors here.
She will be schooled to perfection and is unlikely to be found wanting on the fitness front. Surin, representing last year’s winning handler, is also more than capable of a huge run.
The 135-rated Rapid Response has plenty going for her, but a few of these look capable of going to a higher level, notably COURT MAID. The latter, one of two seven-year-old’s in the field, was hugely impressive at Galway.
The second won twice in the interim prior to bagging third spot in the Kerry National, so her form looks rock solid. Anything Will Do and Somptueux should also be bang there.
Absent for a year now, Select Opportunity is one of the more interesting ones as he can go well fresh but with fitness guaranteed, LORD LARIAT (NAP) looks the more obvious one. A good second on testing ground on his recent visit to Punchestown, he remains open to further improvement at this game and he can recoup the losses here. Russian Bill and Avec Espoir are others to bear in mind.
It is difficult to look beyond the Champion Bumper third QUEENS BROOK in what doesn’t look to be the strongest maiden hurdle. She won a point-to-point, so has proven jumping ability.
Capilano Bridge and Small Bad Bob are capable of running respectably. Meanwhile, Gua Du Large looks the most interesting of the newcomers.
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A chance is taken on MOONBALL to make up for falling the last twice. Although she was beaten when coming to grief last time, the return to this trip is a positive. Fassbender has run respectably in defeat lately and can go well, as can Youngnedofthehill and Faugernon.
Not many of these make much appeal, so a chance is taken on the lightly-raced COURTING VICKIE, who probably found 3m too far on handicap debut last time. The Dreams Alive, Storm Flight, Moonlight Glory and Withallduerespect are capable of running well.
This looks to be the weaker of the two divisions. CALL HIS BLUFF has a sporting chance of turning around the form with Jiving Jerry from Killarney on 7lb better terms. Piranto can go well, while Twentybore needs a market check on his handicap debut.
Successful twice in the last six years in this race, Noel Meade has another strong hand to play here, courtesy of the once-raced QUITE INCREDIBLE. A decent third at Gowran on debut, he is a half-brother to the useful Daisy’s Gift and with his stable going great guns at present, he can be expected to be well primed on his return to serve it right up to them.
Lucy Van Pelt looks the pick of the remainder with form. Meanwhile, Calagogo and Mind Your Money are notable newcomers in this 2m contest.
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