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MAYTAL had to settle for second behind a decent prospect at Chelmsford earlier in the month, but she pulled a long way clear of the third and that represents the best form on offer. She has an excellent pedigree – she’s a half-sister to multiple Group 1 winner Midday – and is entitled to carry on improving for a while yet, so she should prove difficult to beat here.
SECOND COLLECTION justified strong support when scoring at Bath on her penultimate start, albeit with the help of the stewards having been second past the post. She would have been an unlucky loser, though, as she was going well when hampered under two furlongs out, and she was also bumped slightly inside the final 100 yards when keeping on strongly. She shaped as if still in decent heart when fifth in a stronger heat at Chester last time and this looks less competitive.
AL SHIBLI is clearly held in high regard as he was well backed when third on debut in a good-quality conditions race at Newbury, and he built on that promise at Chester last time, comfortably landing a maiden. He clocked a decent time at Chester and won in the style of a useful prospect, so he looks up to defying a penalty here.
MAKASHI boasts an eyecatching pedigree – he is a brother to the very smart City Light – and he displayed plenty of promise in novice company, most notably when runner-up at a huge price at Doncaster last time. There were plenty of well-bred types from top yards on show at Doncaster and it is a race that should work out well. Makashi looks to have been let into handicap company lightly from a mark of just 78 and he can get off the mark here.
RAINS OF CASTAMERE ended last season on a high, winning his final two starts of the campaign, and he bolted up on his return to the Flat at Pontefract in April, again impressing with his straightforward attitude. He has come up slightly short the last twice, but he was arguably better than ever on his latest outing when only beaten a nose. He is likely to get his own way out in front again and can launch another bold bid.
VICEREGENT hasn’t been at his best so far this season but the handicapper has given him a chance, easing him 3 lb since his latest effort at York, which means he is back down to his last winning mark. He probably needed the run when down the field on his return at Thirsk last month and he was still possibly short of peak fitness at York a couple of weeks later, so he is of interest from this fair mark.
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