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Several worth considering with the vote going to OCEAN DRIFTER, who did enough at Uttoxeter last month to suggest he can win this type of event. Conkwell Legend is next best.
Much will depend on how the three main candidates jump. DEJA VUE showed she handles very testing ground over hurdles and is taken to make all, at the expense of Danse Idol.
Recent course winners Good News and Alka Step are obvious contenders while handicap debutant Eglantier could well take a major step forward. CROSSLEY TENDER won so comfortably over fences last week that he has to be given the chance to repeat the feat over hurdles.
This looks most competitive for the grade. GO STEADY was most progressive over fences last season and can take another step up the ladder on his seasonal return. Bad Boy Du Pouldu is an obvious threat after his C&D win but the enigmatic Shintori may provide most danger.
Now that QULOOB is handicapping, he looks to have lots of potential in this area thanks to some nice form on the Flat and rates the selection. With College Oak now a non-runner, Gustavian becomes the main danger to our pick in this field.
Last year’s winner KIWI MYTH appears to have a solid chance and is taken to beat Sutter’s Mill, who is the only other course and distance scorer in the field and looks well handicapped. Out For Justice may prove third best, provided he stays the trip. Exxaro has claims at this level but he’s best on good ground.
The experience of ITSNOTWHATYOUTHINK gives him an edge over his rivals and he should be involved. Precious would have been the pick, but she is a non-runner.
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