Bathiva showed just fair form over hurdles, but showed an aptitude for chasing when making his debut at Ludlow in February, and duly benefited for that experience, showing much-improved form to open his account at Taunton on his final start in March. Bathiva won with plenty in hand on that occasion, and the runner-up and the fifth have both franked the form since, so there is some substance to that win. He has switched to Fergal O’Brien’s yard since that win, and is fully expected to defy a 10 lb rise in the weights.
Dorette made a winning start in a bumper in 2018 when trained by Olly Murphy, and was unlucky not to open her account over hurdles at Uttoxeter last month, having just hit the front when falling at the last. She seemed to appreciate the step up in trip that day, in the process of recording a career-best effort, and the fortunate winner has run well in defeat since. The handicapper has raised her 6 lb in the weights, but she is unexposed at this trip, and could have more to offer, so is well worth another chance.
A tight-knit handicap in which course and distance winner Alberto’s Dream is given a narrow vote having been dropped 2 lb on the back of an encouraging reappearance third at Ffos Las. He is now an 11-year-old, and shaped as though he would come on for that run, making a mistake five out and tiring when not fluent at the three out. On the pick of his form he should be going close from this mark and ought to make the places at least.
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