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Both RAMURE and Babajan have bumped into The Yellow Mini recently and on that evidence Ramure is the one to beat on these terms. We Still Believe is the most appealing newcomer, while Gordon Elliott’s record here entitles Alice Kitty to respect.
Rattle Owl looked very promising when winning on his hurdling debut in April and may not go down without a fight. However, the one to beat is MR CAPLAN, who sets the form standard after his second behind a useful rival at Tramore last month. The other two hurdle winners, Gordon’s Jet and Voice of Hope, can also feature.
It’s hard to make a strong case for many of these, but BROTHER PAT (NAP) has taken well to fences and is the obvious exception. He can add a third chase win at the chief expense of Give Us A Swig and The Darley Lama in that order.
This looks competitive for the grade, but German Flat winner SERGEANT gained an easy success on last month’s handicap hurdle debut and is taken to overcome a 9lbs rise. Last-time-out hurdle winners Strong Team and Treasured Company ought to go well again. But, a bigger threat to the selection may emerge from last-time-out Flat winner Spantik, who now reverts to hurdling on a good mark and was a course winner in April.
Dual course and distance winner Costly Diamond has made very good progress this year and might still be improving, but LUCKY ROBIN got his career back on track with a recent course win over hurdles and looks attractively weighted off today’s 3lbs lower chase mark. Both like to make the running, so it will be interesting to see which one seizes control in the early stages.
It’s possible to make a case for several of these, most obviously THE BLAME GAME. This is more competitive than the race he won here last month, but he likes the track and is only 2lb higher. Countister is next best, ahead of Adelphi Prince and Do No Wrong.
The standard set by Freddie’s Frontier isn’t particularly high and this is probably going to one of the newcomers. Melvich Bay and A Different Kind deserve respect, but HARRY D’ARC is the most appealing.
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