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EYES RIGHT is potentially on a good mark now back over hurdles. She produced her best effort in this sphere when fourth at Market Rasen in November, keeping on well to be beaten just a length. She is now 5lbs lower in the weights after a couple of below-par efforts over fences, so there is no doubt she is well-handicapped if bouncing back to her best in first-time cheekpieces.
BACK ON THE LASH proved better than to get off the mark over fences at Ludlow three weeks ago. He was allowed his own way out in front and found plenty when challenged in the straight to hold on by a head. That was a useful performance, and he sets a high bar here for the two chasing newcomers to meet if running to the same level.
FIVETOTWELVE is threatening to come good soon and shaped well when third in a handicap at Perth last time. She was making good headway when a mistake three out last stopped her in her tracks, while she also left the impression she would have benefited from a stronger gallop.
That form comfortably sets the standard now back in novice company, so she rates a confident selection for the in-form Olly Murphy, who has saddled four winners from his last nine runners.
PISTOL WHIPPED showed improved form to record back-to-back wins in April, proving well suited by the switch to front-running tactics. He was always in control when winning by 14 lengths at Perth last time, easily defying a BHA mark of 144.
This will be tougher now stepping up in grade from 6lbs higher in the weights, but he is clearly thriving at present and looks sure to give another good account for the Nicky Henderson yard ,which won this race with Days of Heaven in 2017.
PRESENCE OF MIND is another interesting runner on the card for the Olly Murphy yard. He hasn’t been beaten far on his last two starts and it is still early days in his chasing career, so he may yet have more to offer.
The application of first-time cheekpieces here could also unlock further improvement, so this looks a good opportunity for him to get off the mark over fences under Aidan Coleman, -who can boast a 22% strike rate when riding at Uttoxeter in recent seasons.
ENFIN PHIL could be worth siding with in what looks a wide-open contest despite the small field. He took a step back in the right direction when third on his latest outing at Kelso, only tiring late on after helping to force the strong early gallop (did too much too soon).
He will be suited by the drop back in trip here and is well worth another chance to take advantage of his falling mark, now 7lbs lower in the weights than when recording his last win.
HURRICANE ALI improved further as he made it two wins from his last three starts at Southwell earlier this month, staying on well on the run-in to get the verdict by half a length. He was probably value for extra given that he didn’t get a clear run on the home turn, so a 5lbs rise in the weights might not be enough to prevent this progressive five-year-old from adding another win to his tally.
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