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CASHEL has gained the reputation of being a bit unreliable, but trainer Michael Appleby reached for the first-time visor last time out here at Chelmsford and it worked a treat. The Sepoy gelding landed a 10-runner handicap over a mile and on the evidence of that display, it looks like there’s more to come. A 5lbs rise looks fair and a slight drop back in trip should also pose no problems.
VELVET VISTA has had a great season for Mike Murphy, her course and distance win back in February was the last leg of a quick hat trick. She slightly lost her way with a couple of below-par efforts at Lingfield and Wolverhampton.
But, she bounced back to form last time out at her beloved Chelmsford when she was second in a 7-furlong event last week. Velvet Vista runs off the same mark here and is the one they will all have to beat.
This race is s 1m 2f handicap and it looks to be one of the most wide-open contests on the card. It may prove prudent to go with a horse that will love the conditions. ENGRAVE is a three-time course and distance winner, who proved she is in terrific form when landing the spoils in a nine-runner handicap here last week. She is at her best coming off a strong pace, which looks guaranteed here and it’s worth siding with Julia Feilden’s charge to make it course and distance win number four.
BYZANTIA can have punters sailing into profit when this promising daughter of Golden Horn makes her debut for the Charlie Fellowes yard. Byzantia looked smart when she won a six-runner minor event at Southwell when in the care of John Gosden last time out. She is now making her handicap debut and looks like she could be a cut above her rivals in what looks like an average affair.
The finale on the card is a 5-furlong handicap, and we will take a chance on a sprinter who showed signs of a return to form last time out. CANFORD BAY ran a cracker on his seasonal reappearance at Newcastle six days ago, when second in an eight-runner handicap.
If Anthony Brittain’s 7-year-old can step up on that effort he should be the value play against likely favourite Autumn Flight, who runs under a penalty after a recent course and distance victory.
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