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ECHOES IN RAIN was impressive last time in a Grade 2 at Naas over just shy of 2m, but will carry a penalty for that here. The form has worked out well since, with the second that day, Belfast Banter, winning the County Hurdle at Cheltenham on his next start off 129 and the sixth, Streets Of Doyen, running to third in the Albert Bartlett. Thedevilscoachman a big threat, but Echoes In Rain has plenty of ability which she will realise as she learns to settle.
ROYAL ILLUSION is a nine-year-old, but only has two starts over hurdles. The Willie Mullins-trained mare was third at Naas on hurdles debut and got off the mark at Leopardstown over 2-and-a-half miles last month.
She was very useful on the Flat, rating as high as 96 after winning the Irish Cesarewitch by 8-and-a-half lengths off a rating of 83. Drying ground would be a positive for her too, and this is her trip to boot.
I was really taken with how GO ANOTHER ONE challenged in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham, but probably got there too soon. He used up too much energy too early and weakened because of it going up the hill. He was also impressive here over hurdles over 3m on decent ground last August.
I would have loved to have seen him have a crack at the Topham Chase, but this Grade 3 affair is also a great opportunity for him.
GENTLEMANSGAME has the potential to be top class operator, which he showed when he bolted up on is hurdles debut at Cork over 2m. He was second over 2m 6f at the Dublin Racing Festival behind Gaillard Du Mesnil, who was second in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. He also beat Stattler in third and he finished fourth in the Albert Bartlett. Gentlemansgame has got a big chance if he takes his place here.
This is a nice bit of placing here by trainer Arthur Moore and CROSSED MY MIND has improved over fences this season, winning easily at Thurles off 116 and then at Navan off 124. He also ran respectably in eighth off 134 in the 2m 5f Handicap Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival.
He is back over hurdles here off 127 and Simon Torrens takes off another valuable 5lbs. Don’t forget, he won this race in 2019 off 121 with no claimer.
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