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Percy’s Word ran a big race in defeat at Uttoxeter last month and has more than enough ability to win a race of this nature but patience in him is starting to wear thin and he is opposed with EDINBURGH CASTLE, who moves back into novice company after a good third on his handicap debut six weeks ago. Catbird Seat looked a big threat before a last flight fall on his hurdling debut and also warrants serious consideration.
In a competitive race for the grade the suggestion is GOA LIL, who ran pretty well when third over hurdles recently and now reverts to chasing from a career-low mark. Umndeni looked in rude health when winning over hurdles on Saturday and will be greatly feared if he runs here off the same mark. Otherwise, Cape Robin is nominated as the main danger.
Fred Bear might well gain his revenge on Scrappy Jack but SCOTS GOLD showed promise for Tom Dascombe earlier this year and has the scope to do well as a jumper for the Skeltons.
Having won in good style over C&D on his hurdles debut CARAMELISED is likely to prove hard to beat despite his penalty. Prey For Glory, Sabre Jet and Addosh are interesting newcomers.
Bagan might well have been unlucky not to win over C&D last month, while the close fourth from that race Air Hair Lair is yet to run a bad race over fences. However, it might pay to chance well-handicapped 7yo MOANS CROSS, who never really got involved when fourth here last month, after a break, but might have needed that outing and may benefit from a return to the much more positive tactics that were used when he won over hurdles.
Wbee has made good progress in recent months and is now bidding for his fourth win in a row but TEL’ART and Ballon Onabudget both remain well handicapped after their recent wins and may fight this out. Slight preference is Ben Pauling’s runner, who looked well suited by the move up to 3m2f here last month.
Justin Landy’s CAPTAIN COBAJAY (nap) bounced back to form to make a winning stable debut at Market Rasen nine days ago and can shrug off a 5lb rise if in similar form again here. Costly Diamond was third behind the selection on his latest outing and ought to go well again but a bigger threat may come from Kapsize, who made a bold bid from the front when fourth over 2m3f here last month.
In what is probably just a run-of-the-mill bumper, PUFFIN BAY gets the vote in the hope she can build on the promise she showed when third at Southwell last month. Market Rasen runner-up Shantou Champagne should also play a significant role. Div Ine Tara needs to prove that last month’s improved form can be transferred to today’s faster ground but she still features prominently in calculations.
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