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Plenty to consider but it’s worth noting, for the whittling-down process, that the last 10 winners all emerged from double-figure draws – with the last four winners berthed in stall 14 or higher. TREACHEROUS is drawn 17 and appeals based on his near-miss at Windsor two starts ago, when clear with a highly progressive winner. A line can be put through his latest run at Goodwood where he was never travelling in first-time cheekpieces, and the headgear is left off today.
This is suitably competitive and Willie Mullins, who has won two of the last four renewals, fields an interesting five-runner team. Hook Up and Royal Illlusion may prove the pick of the group. Emmet Mullins has a strong candidate in Crowns Major who beat Longbourn with something to spare at Galway.
Gowran winner Phoenix Cowboy should go well, but the each-way value possibly lies with SHOSHONE WARRIOR. He was second in this race last year off 4lbs higher and now with Mikey Sheehy’s 5lb claim on his side.
It’s well over two years since the front-running MAJOR JUMBO kept his head in front, but this looks a good opportunity. He’s down in grade, runs off his lowest mark since 2017 and has a fine record at Chester. Course specialist Powerallied could be the main danger from the inside stall, with Abate another to consider.
One with some potential is the lightly raced filly AQUAMAS, who was messed about a bit before running on quite well for fifth over 6 furlongs at Thirsk last month and now moves up in trip. She gets the vote ahead of Favourite Niece, who lost out only narrowly on Tapeta three weeks ago. Redzone and Iron Sheriff are others to consider.
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