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Whispering Gypsy showed modest form racing in Ireland last year. She was third in a Thurles bumper when last seen in October and she makes her first start for Dan Skelton’s yard here having been purchased for £38,000. She has a hood fitted for the first time and should be up to winning a race against her own sex.
ANGE ENDORMI, whose dam was a winning pointer, made an encouraging start to his career when third at Doncaster on his debut last month. He shaped well as he came from further back than the shorter-priced newcomers who finished ahead of him. He finished with running left on that occasion and, considering that race is now looking an above-average bumper, he is difficult to oppose.
A winner over hurdles at Market Rasen in December, it is actually HYDROPLANE’s Flat form that potentially gives him the edge here and makes him worth siding with. He is a fairly useful performer on the level, demonstrated by the hat-trick he racked up in July 2019.
He made a creditable return to the sphere when third at this venue last month. Hydroplane should be more than capable of landing one of these races and looks the way to go here.
CLOUD THUNDER hasn’t achieved much over hurdles so far, beating home just two horses in his three starts, running out on one occasion. But, he ran to a decent level when runner-up three times on the Flat last year, twice on the all-weather. With first-time blinkers applied, he must hold leading claims on his bumper debut.
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ZAFAR has shaped with a fair amount of encouragement in his last two outings over hurdles, not seen to best effect when racing along the disadvantageous inside at Fontwell last month. That was before not really seeing out the trip when stepped up to 2-and-a-half miles at Wincanton last time.
He went with plenty of enthusiasm that day though, and given the fairly useful form he showed on the Flat in France, he merits plenty of respect on his first outing in a bumper. Particularly so now stepped back in trip.
MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS showed improved form to win with plenty to spare on his handicap hurdle debut at Fontewell in January 2020. After a seven-month absence, he resumed winning ways on his first Flat start for Amy Murphy at Kempton in September – doing especially well to come from behind in a steadily run race.
He has produced a couple of cracking performances to finish placed in hurdles at Wetherby and Cheltenham since then. He rates a likely player on his first try in this discipline.
BEAT THE JUNGLE has quickly made up into a useful chaser, recording back-to-back wins over fences before posting a couple of solid placed efforts in two warm Cheltenham handicaps in October and November. Galileo Silver and Strong Glance are both strong performers in this sphere, but Beat The Jungle did make the frame on both his previous starts on polytrack and rates a big player.
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