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QUARTZ DU RHEU leaves the impression he has a bigger effort to come over fences and it’s not taken many runs for him to become very attractively-handicapped. He’s chanced back up in trip here, with any market support coming for him only set to strengthen his claims. Oscar Montel and the four-year-old Shentri are a couple of others to consider in a trappy contest.
Most of these have question marks against them so this looks a good opportunity for Alan King’s ex-French gelding FRATERNEL to get back to winning ways having fallen at Market Rasen last time. Getareason is weighted to have a big say if shrugging off a modest recent effort, with Thistle Do Nicely appealing as the pick of the rest.
FIRST STREET shaped well when runner-up in a Huntingdon bumper on his debut and Nicky Henderson’s son of Golden Horn is fancied to go one better with that form looking much the best on offer. Newcomer Time To Believe is in very good hands and bred to be no back number, so is feared most ahead of course and distance scorer Tiger Orchid.
ULTIMATE GETAWAY flew over these obstacles when scoring here three weeks ago and can strike again with in-form Liam Harrison, who knows the horse well, taking 5lbs off now. Fire Away has been a revelation over fences and has to be the danger back hurdling in a race like this.
Not a strong race by any means with the tentative vote in favour of FLIGHTY BRIDE. She produced her best effort to date when runner-up over 20 furlongs here last month and a repeat should see her thereabouts. Durragh and Italian Summer head up the dangers.
SOLSTALLA is a mare operating at the top of her game at present, resuming winning ways at Newton Abbot and forging clear to follow up at Southwell two weeks ago. She looks sure to go well again in this groove and earns the vote. Mix of Clover – who scored impressively himself last time – is next best, ahead of Long Call who is lurking on a handy mark if putting it all together.
A typically competitive big-field handicap with a chance taken on maiden DUROUYN. Well backed on the back of 12 weeks off, he was a good Aintree fourth in a stronger race which was a definite step back in the right direction and this longer trip is worth exploring. Hattaab ran well at Southwell and is feared, along with Layerthorpe and Dorette.
It took JOSIE ABBING 13 attempts to get her head in front over hurdles, a feat she achieved at Fontwell in May. However, that was no flash in the pan judged on her subsequent near miss at the same course and she gets the nod. Get An Oscar is feared back in this sphere, while handicap debutant Lelantos also merits respect, along with recent Southwell winner Pinnacle Peak.
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