This can go to PLENTY IN THE TANK, who joined his new connections after beating one of their highly regarded horses in a Chepstow bumper a year ago. Duc De Bourbon was a disappointing favourite in his second bumper, but his debut was very promising and he looks the main danger. Twominutes Turkish is another hurdling debutant who showed significant promise in bumpers.
A devilishly difficult race to call. Slight preference is for MASTER BURBIDGE, who has been out of form recently, but drops in class and has every chance if he can reproduce his better form. Course winner Princeton Royale keeps all bar Wicked Willy out of the weights and rates the biggest danger. Dream Bolt has been in decent form this year and that’s more than can be said for some of these.
To Fly Free held her own against older horses in handicaps on her last two appearances and has now been placed on all four hurdle starts. She ought to play a significant role, but VOLKOVKA ran to a fairly useful level when scoring on the Flat in France in June and is taken to make a winning hurdling debut. Glass Of Bubbles and Isayalittleprayer are other interesting recruits from the Flat.
Cases can be made for a few of these but the most interesting runner is arguably Irish point winner VINNIE’S GETAWAY, who was placed over 2m on his recent handicap debut and has significant potential on this first attempt at a staying trip under rules. Skylanna Breeze needs to bounce back from two very disappointing efforts, but will be very dangerous if able to match the form of his easy Southwell win in August. Dual course and distance winner Perfect Moment is next on the list.
An interesting little race. The Paul Nicholls-trained MICK PASTOR receives a 9lb four-year-old allowance on this chase debut and gets the vote having shown significant promise in juvenile hurdles last season. Point and dual novice winner Gaelik Coast could relish the switch to fences and is feared most, although it will be no surprise if Timetochill leaves her chase debut effort behind and proves a much tougher opponent today.
Jackson Hill gave a good account when second at Plumpton last week, while Glimpse Of Gold also comes here in good form. But, MINELLA BEAUTY (NAP) is unexposed after only two hurdle starts and is selected to make a winning handicap debut.
Jonjo’s O’Neill’s five-year-old was a very promising third at Fontwell last month and his lesser effort on heavy ground three weeks ago shouldn’t be viewed harshly. St Lawrence Gap hinted at a possible return to form last time and will be feared if strong in the betting.
C&D winner Martello Sky is respected, but SUN RISING HILL made a very pleasing rules debut at Market Rasen last month and that form looks even better now – with the runner-up an easy hurdle winner here on his next outing. Harrowby made a low-key debut at Cheltenham in January but ought to be more competitive in this.
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