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VIEUX CARRE looked back on track when chasing home a promising newcomer over this trip at Pontefract and could open her account here if in the same sort of form. Ballet Steps and Runshaw Lane are both interesting on paper first time up and the betting could be revealing.
Not a deep maiden, with PEARL OF KUWAIT taken to strike at the third attempt having offered more at Wolverhampton a fortnight ago. Ayling can progress again and is feared, while a newcomer wouldn’t have to be a world-beater to make a big impact, with Sunday Justice possibly the pick of them on paper.
Expensive breeze-up purchase THUNDER LEGEND made an eye-catching debut when fourth at Newmarket and gets the vote with improvement on the cards. Golden War looked awkward when behind the selection that day, but he sets the standard on his debut run at Goodwood and it’s still early days, while Implore could also be worth another chance now tried in headgear.
HOPE PROBE has generally held his form well this term, so he’s fancied to double his tally now returning to claiming company. Klopp of The Kop has a wide draw to contend with but nevertheless is respected in his follow-up bid, with Donnelly’s Rainbow another to consider having fared best of those ridden prominently in a course and distance handicap last month.
SIBAAQ already has a course and distance victory to his name and arrives on the back of an excellent second at Newmarket, so he’s fancied to resume winning ways back in the North. Crown Princess could be hard to peg back if allowed her own way in front, while Ugo Gregory is running consistently well at present – so he should be thereabouts again.
Dual French winner SAGAUTEUR has yet to strike on these shores, but left the distinct impression that his turn is very near when an unlucky-in-running fourth off this reduced mark at Windsor recently. He gets the nod ahead of Zeimaam, who has gone agonisingly close to shedding his maiden tag the last twice and it’s surely a matter of time before he gets his head in front. Casilli also has claims.
RICHES AND RUBIES leaves the impression this sort of trip will be right up her street and is fancied to make it third time lucky in handicaps. Crystal Guard, who didn’t get home over 1-and-thre-quarter miles last time, can fill the forecast spot.
BURSCOUGH pulled three lengths clear of the third when runner-up at Ripon last time, so the handicapper may have been generous in leaving him on the same mark. The selection’s stablemate Secret Eagle took a step back in the right direction at Pontefract, so he could be the one to give him most to do ahead of Tom’s Reign Beau – who has a win and a third to show from his two previous visits here.
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