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A recent trip to France didn’t go to plan for HONNEUR D’AJONC and he comes here with some questions to answer, but his career began with two very promising hurdle runs in late 2020 and he ought to be far too good for today’s rivals. Baladio is a modest maiden on the Flat, however should have no stamina or ground worries on today’s hurdle debut.
2018 winner Arty Campbell is probably still on a workable mark after bagging a recent selling handicap at Newton Abbot, while 2019 winner Searching ran well to a point and hinted at a possible return to form on his latest outing.
However, the suggestion is I’M ON SNAP, who won on fast ground in the spring and ran well in defeat when fourth in a competitive race for this grade at Stratford last time. Getaman should also feature.
He lacks a recent run, but low-mileage five-year-old NO ANXIETY took very well to chasing in the early part of this season and has plenty of scope for improvement. Fox Pro will find this easier than his latest assignment and is second choice. However, Aimee De Sivola must also be considered, having gone close on her recent chasing debut.
Presenting Yeats has been in good form over this sort of trip since the summer and could still have more improvement to come but the pick is MORRAMAN (NAP), who recorded one of his best pieces of form when fourth off a much higher mark in this contest two years ago and hasn’t had the races run to suit when fourth on his latest two outings. Manning Estate is next on the list.
Good cases can be made for all three of these mares, but JUBILYMPICS competes off a new career-low mark and gets the nod in the hope her recent reappearance run over hurdles did her good.
Lost In Montmartre is arguably the one with least to prove, but she seems to lack a change of gear and might be vulnerable if this becomes tactical. A bigger threat to the selection may come from chasing debutante Wilde Spirit, who ran well on fast ground on last season’s reappearance.
Josie Abbing went up 9lbs for last month’s Fontwell win, but the form has been boosted by the placed horses and she’ll be hard to beat if in a similar mood on her debut for Fergal O’Brien. However, she throws in the odd duff effort and preference is for KENTFORD MALLARD, who remains on a good mark after her fourth in that Fontwell race. Say Nothing should also feature.
There are risks attached to JERSEY LADY, given that her last two bumper runs were disappointing, but the form of last November’s Listed third reads very well and she has a good jumping pedigree. Dual bumper winner Tiger Orchid was always on the back foot after an alarming first-flight jumping error on his hurdle debut in August but can do much better if he gets into a rhythm here.
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