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With Adjali and Rhythm Is A Dancer disappointing last time, Thistle Do Nicely and, in particular, Oscar Montel, may be the ones to give topweight STREETS OF DOYEN most to do. The Irish challenger, a very useful hurdler, made a pleasing start over fences last month and may prove too classy for these rivals.
By far the most interesting runner is unexposed 5yo HEAD ON, who was 19l clear of the third when second to a much-improved rival (now officially rated 30lb higher) on his handicap hurdle debut in June and is only 1lb higher for today’s chasing debut. Hoot At Midnight gave a very good account of herself when second over C&D last time and is second choice, ahead of Accordini and Terrafirma Lady.
Given that previous winner Fifrelet has a penalty and long absence to cope with and Luke San pulled too hard when disappointing last time, it may be worth taking a chance with the newcomer OPERATION MANNA, who has a decent pedigree and hails from a yard that enjoys success in this sphere. Wild Breeze and Cavalry are other interesting newcomers and the first-named may prove the main danger. Turpin Gold is another to consider.
Although Seinesational sets the form standard, he is unproven at this trip so the vote goes to NOT AT PRESENT, who took a big step forward when a close second in a handicap last time and may prove the more thorough stayer. Irish import Cardboard Gangster is the other one with form claims, while Farmer’s Gamble is an interesting newcomer.
A tricky puzzle. If the Fix Sun who won two starts ago turns up, he will be a threat to all. However, he does have his blip last time to put behind him and a safer proposition is THAHAB IFRAJ, who has had the misfortune to run into the same very progressive rival on his last two starts and may be able to return to winning ways here. The in-form Solstalla is an obvious threat along with Champagne City.
Cases can be made for a few of these, including Headscarf Lil, Just Once, Tamango and Lady P. The last named could prove the main threat to DYNAMIC KATE, who showed improvement when second last time following wind surgery and may be capable of even better here.
Having caught the eye when running on over 2m2f at Market Rasen last time, MINI CREST (nap) is taken to get off the mark now that she is presented with a greater test of stamina. The dangers, in order of preference, are Chosen Shant and Dorette.
It is interesting that top connections are keeping going with the so-far disappointing Duc De Bourbon and it would be no surprise to see a bold show from him. However, this may be fought out by handicap debutant King’s Proctor and FAITQUE DE L’ISLE, with Ed De Giles’s 6yo getting a narrow vote after his encouraging effort here last time following a wind operation.
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