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The most obvious answer to this modest opener is CELESTIAL POINT (nap), who displayed a jolt of improvement when winning very comfortably over 1m on his recent seasonal debut and has plenty of scope for further progress over today’s even longer trip. Gone Mod ran well in defeat on soft ground recently and can pose a threat if this quicker surface also suits. Lisdarragh and Hooves Like Jagger are others with possibilities.
A few of these warrant consideration but top of the list is CITY TOUR, who is slightly better on the AW but posted a good effort off his lower turf mark at Windsor five weeks ago and benefits from a subsequent 2lb drop here. Hurdling didn’t go to plan for Frankly Mr Shankly during the winter but his subsequent AW form makes him a player here. For Richard and Carp Kid also make the shortlist.
Mickydee sets the standard but he’s starting to look exposed. Liger King is respected but there was a lot to like about the debut effort of JUBILEE BRIDGE last month and she can put that experience to good use.
Stake Acclaim has been in good form off his much-reduced mark this spring but the recent sunshine is likely to have been much more beneficial to CORONATION COTTAGE, who did well to finish fourth after fluffing the start on her seasonal debut at Windsor. Peerless took a backward step on his latest outing but but has claims if judged on his earlier Nottingham win and is not yet fully exposed.
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Some interesting contenders, with Mezzanotte and BELLPORT both showing plenty on their debuts. The latter was, if anything, rather on the green side over 5f at Bath but she came home in taking style and looks sure to be suited by at least 7f. The market should be revealing about the most interesting newcomers Ammolite, Three Priests and Truganini.
A tricky contest with ANCIENT TIMES taken to make the most of the return to what looks his best trip. Glamorous Breeze ran much her best race to date when third over 5f there last month and looks the main danger, although drying ground is a big plus for both Elektronic and Khufu, who are both capable of better than they have shown of late.
There might still be more to come from Molly Shaw, who won her first two handicaps last season and made an encouraging reappearance in a Class 5 event at Doncaster in April. However, GILT EDGE hasn’t enjoyed much luck on either start since the cheekpieces were added in April and she’s handicapped to win if and when things go her way. Excellent George is next on the list.
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