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Ann Hamilton looks set to have another excellent season and the progressive six-year-old BAVINGTON BOB (NAP) can maintain his unbeaten record in handicaps. Iolani has been in top form at Kelso the last twice and, having also won here, is feared most. The unexposed Hart Of Steel could also go well.
The selection is GOLD DES BOIS, who is ahead of the handicapper following his fine second from out of the handicap on his recent stable debut at Kelso. The unexposed six-year-old If Not For Dylan is feared most on this first handicap start, ahead of Slanelough who was in top form when last seen in the spring.
Irish raider GLENTRUAN has leading claims under a 7lbs penalty based on his spring form over hurdles, and a line can be put through last month’s chase debut flop as he failed to take to fences. Malpas is the stand-out form danger, but he’s fallen on three of his four hurdle starts and perhaps the chief threat to the selection will come from Findthetime – who ran with more promise on his rules debut than the large margin of defeat suggests.
This looks a good opportunity for the in-form six-year-old QUARTZ DU RHEU to return to winning ways having narrowly been denied a hat-trick at Warwick last month. There are various positives and negatives regarding his rivals, and perhaps Court Dreaming will be the main threat ahead of Amalfi Doug.
Near Kettering won well on his latest start over hurdles and would be a leading contender if whatever was wrong since on his latest Flat outing can be forgiven. This short a trip is a concern for Old Jewrym but he is still considered, as is Strong Team given his recent return to form.
However, GRAND ENTERPRISE, one of the veterans, has also been running well and, although his overall strike-rate is off-putting, those recent efforts and his record at this track suggest a bold show.
There have been encouraging signs from LOW PROFILE over hurdles of late and, with this stiff track likely to be in his favour, he’s taken to get off the mark in this code at the third attempt. Wor Verge has tended to run to form when fresh in the past few years and he’s second choice back from a break, ahead of Foster’sisland who was progressive early this year.
Sword Of Fate won in good style at Perth last month and holds solid claims, but this could go to GRIPPER on his third chase start. He was running well at Hexham recently until falling at the final fence. Armattiekan also produced a positive performance last time out.
Limerick Leader was rather unlucky when second at Wexford in March on his only start for Aidan Fitzgerald, given that he got held up in traffic at a crucial stage, and he is preferred to King Of Unicorns among those who have run.
However, the form is not intimidating and this might present a good opportunity for newcomer STROLL ON BY, who makes appeal on pedigree and is from a stable among the winners – including with Brian Hughes.
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