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Having plummeted in the weights, LASKADINE has rediscovered her form with a vengeance and she can complete a hat-trick if proving just as effective on good ground as on soft or heavy. Luck Of Clover could be the one to chase her home. Barbados Blue may still be unexposed and A Little Chaos, after wind surgery, is another to consider.
Gylo was a three-time scorer on the Flat and, after a recent jumpers’ bumper win, he can be expected to improve a fair bit on the form of his hurdling debut. He’s tempting, but the vote goes to TIMBERMAN, who may need only to repeat the form of his fifth to Fiddlerontheroof to get off the mark over hurdles.
Of the two last-time-out course and distance winners, Prudhomme probably has the more potential and is much respected. Pogue, another with solid recent C&D form to his name, should go well again off bottom weight, but a chance is taken with NOT ANOTHER MUDDLE. He had an excuse last time, can come good off his lowest mark for three years.
Nicky Henderson may hold the key to this contest and his FANTASTIC LADY, who might have won but for falling at the last at Ludlow, gets the vote ahead of her stablemate Docte Dina. The front-running Saturn ‘n Silk may be best of the others.
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One More Fleurie was one of two to finish well clear of the others when a well-backed winner at Warwick a week ago, but consistency is not his strong suit and an interesting alternative is THELONGWAYAROUND.
He will be suited by today’s ground, is now 6lb lower than when second in his more recent chase and might well have needed the run when reverting to hurdles for his seasonal debut. Bootlegger is next on the list.
Quite a few of these can be given a chance but HEART OF A LION, who should be well suited by today’s longer distance, makes the most appeal on his handicap debut. Heading the dangers is Passing Shadow, who has been knocking on the door and should be thereabouts again. Always Resolute and Kloud Gate, both tumbling in the weights, are others to consider.
There’s no obvious reason why the revitalised Twojayslad won’t give another good account of himself, but preference is for BALLYHILL (NAP). He runs in his first veterans’ chase and looks worth another go over today’s distance. Ozzy Thomas looks well handicapped and could pose the main threat.
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