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Vanderbilt is a longstanding maiden but he runs this track well and could have a say off a new career-low mark. SECRET POTION was very disappointing on his latest outing but he won on last month’s handicap debut and could still have significant untapped potential over hurdles.
Demon D’Aunou won comfortably off today’s mark last summer and comes here after two good efforts this spring but he’s not entirely straightforward and a safer option is DELIGHT OF DUBAI (nap), who went very close at Exeter in April and gave another good account when third at Worcester last month. Vocaliser lost his way a bit during the winter but this is effectively his first run after a break and, if he’s back on song, his current mark is workable.
Kilmington Rose scooted clear to win against her own sex here 11 days ago and is now 2-2 since blinkers were fitted but preference is for FONTANA ELLISSI, who will be hard to beat if matching the level of form he showed when scoring at Ludlow two starts ago. Barrowmount made a winning start to his hurdling career at Stratford last month and is the other key player.
Course winner MYSTIC COURT was still travelling well before unseating at Fontwell recently and is selected to collect his third win of the year. Small Bad Bob ran well in a Stratford novice on last month’s stable debut and, given that was his first start since October, there must be hope he can build on that performance. Right Destination is next on the list.
Vision Des Flos and Thistle Do Nicely are very well handicapped on old hurdle form but the one with least to prove is Suzy Smith’s new recruit PILBARA, who ran well in defeat behind a subsequent winner in a Killarney novice chase last month. Darling Maltaix was in good form over fences in the early part of last season and is second choice. Chasing debutant Umndeni gave a good account over hurdles this month.
Lightly raced 8yo DRUMLEE WATAR seems rather one-paced but he stayed on well for second over this sort of trip in his first two handicaps and can go one better if first-time cheekpieces help to keep the revs up. Holly James may provide the main threat but Lord Getaway also enters calculations on this return to hurdling.
Writteninthesand was placed in his last two chases and may have benefited from a subsequent wind op but this might go to Irish point winner KINGSTON KING. The 7yo makes his chasing debut from out of the weights but made a very pleasing handicap hurdle debut on Wednesday and connections are evidently very keen to switch him to fences. Awesome Tunes is another to consider.
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