Having been well backed ahead of his recent stable debut over C&D, WESTERN RAMBLER (nap) appeared to idle in front when winning by 1l and holds strong claims today under a 7lb penalty. Oishin won at Carlisle last time out in March and is feared most, while Barnay and Grand Enterprise can go well but they finish second a lot more often than they win.
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Last season’s Cheltenham Festival third RAYNA’S WORLD bolted up here recently and can follow up today. Stainsby Girl had a solid first campaign over hurdles last season and is the obvious chief threat.
He may be 0-11 over fences but SLANELOUGH has the fewest question marks in this field and arrives on the back of a solid fourth place in a better race at Carlisle. Sao could go well granted a clear round, while Knight Destroyer won on heavy ground over hurdles last time out in January, but perhaps the main danger will be fellow chasing newcomer Sophie Fatale, with trainer Sandy Thomson’s horses often improving when sent over fences.
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C&D winner CUDGEL ran well in this race last year after a break and is taken to make a winning reappearance. The unexposed handicap newcomer The Mayne Man is an interesting contender now up in trip and back on testing ground, and he could be the main danger ahead of Classical Sound.
McGinty’s Dream holds obvious claims after his 6l win over C&D on last month’s reappearance but SLAINTE MHOR could be just the type to benefit from first-time cheekpieces, having lacked a bit of sharpness on his first two chase starts. Lucinda Russell saddles another unexposed 6yo in A Ladies Milan, who is respected, along with heavy-ground C&D winner Westend Theatre.
The two most interesting contestants are the southern raiders THE LONGEST DAY and Bobby Bow in that order of preference. There are reasons to oppose leading form contender Farocco, while Kings Cave may do better in handicaps later on.
The Racing Post’s tips at Hexham today
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