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There was a lot to like about GO DANTE‘s easy win in a bumper at Wincanton in March and he can score on this hurdle debut. Warwick bumper winner Black Poppy is feared most, ahead of fellow bumper scorer Ted’s Friend and talented Flat performer Green Planet.
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The Olly Murphy-trained WASHINGTON is an exciting prospect for hurdles, having been impressive in both of his bumpers, and he is taken to make a winning start in this discipline. French bumper winner Head Law makes his debut for Jonjo O’Neill and JP McManus and could be a danger, especially if strong in the betting. Hexham novice hurdle winner Bob’s Bar and Wexford bumper winner Hurlerontheditch are others who could run well.
Several interesting contenders, with Master Malcolm and Flintara representing trainers whose horses often improve when switched to fences, and fellow chasing newcomer San Agustin also bringing potential.
However, REPRESENTING BOB won in good style on his recent chase debut at Stratford and is taken to follow up. Rintulla is also proven over fences and is respected now back down in trip, but the main threat could come from On The Platform – who won over hurdles here when last seen in May.
The lightly raced six-year-old NOT AT PRESENT (NAP) has shown improved form since these cheekpieces went on and he can add to August’s victory at Worcester. Hillview displayed a good attitude to win over course and distance last time and could be the chief danger, with Champagne Noir and Rare Clouds others to consider.
If Salamanca School is in the same form as at Plumpton then he might well follow up, even on this deeper ground. However, this is a fairly quick reappearance and, with that in mind, preference is for GIVE ME A MOMENT after his pleasing start for his new yard at Stratford. Others to consider are Schmidt and Follow Your Fire.
She may have been pulled up on her handicap debut at Doncaster back in January, but that was too bad to be true from GETAWEAPON – who looks to be on a good mark judged on her second to a useful mare at Ludlow last December. Progressive pair Dazzling Glory and Could Be Trouble are also considered, with the first-named feared most.
The very lightly raced POLDARK CROSS showed promise over hurdles last season and there can be optimism this point winner’s form will go to the next level now switched to fences. Oscar Nomination may well have won over course and distance last time but for a blunder at the final fence, and he’s second choice. Emphatic Qualm is an interesting chasing debutant for the in-form Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Latitude is already a winner under rules and Gentle River very nearly joined him, so both command respect with their experience. So too Great D’Ange and Largy Reach after showing ability in the Irish point scene and King Arise is a winning pointer, albeit in a Flat version.
However, don’t dismiss any of the newcomers and CUDDLY DUDLEY not only represents a yard with an impressive strike-rate in these races, but he has a very appealing pedigree to boot.
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