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Goldenhurst drew clear for a very convincing 5.7-furlong novice win here 11 days ago and now returns to a handicap off an unchanged mark, but he’s drawn wider this time and his overall record is not entirely convincing.
Preference is for LAWFUL COMMAND, who raced freely when third over 6 furlongs on his recent nursery debut and may benefit from today’s drop back in trip. Brown Owl is also considered in this one.
This will almost certainly be fought out by Scampi and PRETTY SWEET. Andrew Balding’s gelding is back in a maiden after a string of good efforts in handicap, but the filly at the bottom of the race card shaped with significant promise when runner-up on her first two starts and might be the answer.
After two comfortable wins at Ffos Las this summer, BEOWULF (NAP) looked rather unlucky not to complete his hat-trick when denied a clear run at Newbury last time. He competes off the same mark again here and remains very much of interest.
Yanifer was slightly disappointing when last in action but, in general terms, has done very well in recent months. He could be dangerous if suited by today’s step up in trip.
Cherish and Chipstead (preferred in that order) come into this quite valuable series final on winning rolls and both need to be taken very seriously. However, it might be worth chancing REAL ESTATE, who was behind Red Alert and Ruby Cottage when third of six over course and distance 11 days ago, but can pose a potent threat from off the pace if he gets a stronger gallop to aim at this time.
Mick Channon’s filly STEEL AN ICON has already enjoyed a very productive season, but her recent success at Catterick suggested she might still be improving. She has a 5lbs penalty to shoulder here, but is reunited with 7lbs claimer Rose Dawes, who is 3-3 on her.
This is a significant step up in grade for Merlin’s Beard, but he struck form this summer and is completely unexposed over this sort of trip. Super Superjack is next on the list.
On the back of an encouraging turf debut effort over this course and distance, BORN TO SIRE may be able to defy top weight and open his account. Some of the other maidens also have possibilities, notably Four Feet, Wisper and Way Of Life in that order of preference. Miss Sligo is first choice among the runners who already have winning form
Course winners Street Jester and Toybox (preferred in that order) both have something going for them, but the most appealing option is LISDARRAGH. He has remained in very good form since his breakthrough win at Windsor in June.
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