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This may well be the day when SHACKABOOAH gets his head in front. There were excuses at Carlisle last time, not faring well with the draw and hampered at the start. He has at least as good a chance as any of his rivals judged on his course-and-distance second to Mr Wagyu – who has won again subsequently – earlier this month. Quanah’s latest effort at Ripon was solid and he is next on the shortlist, while Last Date and Round The Island are others to consider.
She ran her best race to date when second at big odds at Ripon last time and TROPICAL CYCLONE is bred to be better than an opening mark of 65. Sure to be well suited by this longer trip on handicap debut, she looks the one to beat with The Vegas Raider seemingly the main threat. Chipping Away is going the right way and also warrants consideration in an interesting three-year-old handicap.
Kevin Ryan’s runner showed plenty of ability when finishing second on debut at York 16 days ago, keeping on well and a shade unfortunate to lose out on the nod as he was in front a stride before and after the line. GIS A SUB is open to more improvement now and is strongly fancied to make a bold bid from a low draw for a yard whose juveniles are running well. Haydock-winner Sam Maximus is also entitled to do better and is feared, ahead of Dashing Rat, who will find this easier than his Royal Ascot assignment last time.
The four-year-old has been largely campaigned on the all-weather, but has won on turf before, and took another step forward when resuming winning ways at Chelmsford 12 days ago. ARAMIS GREY coped well with the drop back to six furlongs on that occasion despite an early bump putting her on the back foot, proving strong and resolute in the finish.
The stiffer nature of this track will suit her well and another bold show is expected. Al Simmo and The Blue Bower can give the selection most to think about.
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Easy to back and no match for a big improver of Mark Johnston’s at Ayr last week, but HARSWELL DUKE makes plenty of appeal now taking on older rivals for the first time here, and could have more to offer after just four runs. He is expected to resume winning ways at the expense of a few other interesting rivals, particularly Emiyn, who is likely to be a force if settling better back up in trip.
PAGAN has shown much improved form this season following a gelding operation, finding only one rival too good on each occasion, and looked a useful prospect at Yarmouth last time. The winner looks potentially smart, and it is impossible to oppose Pagan against these rivals on these terms. Et Tu Brute and The Thin Blue Line can fill the places.
Micky Hammond’s runner had an excuse at Thirsk so DRAGONS WILL RISE may be worth siding with to resume his progression back at the scene of his latest win in April. Possible Ambition, one of two three-year-olds in the line-up, may pull out a bit more for the longer trip and provide the chief threat ahead of Point of Honour.