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This 2m 1f handicap hurdle kicks off the card at the Devon track with a small field of runners. MANOR PARK, who managed to win over course and distance a little over a week ago, sets the standard here. He was held up in midfield early on that day, but went on to win by an impressive 13 lengths.
He has been hiked up 14lbs in the weights for the success, but the trainer Brian Barr has won with two of the last seven he sent to post and this is his only runner at the track. I expect similar tactics from Manor Park in a weak race, so another big run should be in store here and he shouldn’t be dismissed lightly.
The Welsh racecourse hosts this weak 1m 2f race with only five going to post and I fancy BASHFUL to land the spoils. This colt has had two runs so far in his career, he was ninth on debut at Salisbury last September and returned to the track three weeks ago at Lingfield when an impressive second after a 263-day absence.
He should be fitter in this race and I expect him to be bang there at the finish. His jockey Joshua Bryan is also going well, with two wins from his last 11 rides and has been placed on a further five more. Bashful is his only ride on Monday, so he might just be a big player in this contest.
This is Race 2 at the Co Mayo venue and I fancy Tony Martin’s runner DARK MATTER to be challenging for honours. He is a once raced gelding, who made his debut in a maiden at Gowran Park 75 days ago.
He missed the break there, finding trouble in running on that occasion. But, he should come on for the run and is significantly up in trip, which should suit. With the assistance of top jockey Seamie Heffernan in the saddle, I believe we’ll witness a much-improved effort from this three-year-old.
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