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I SPY A DIVA was held back by several mistakes on hurdles debut at Huntingdon 16 days ago, but she still came very close to winning and clearly possesses more than her share of ability. She narrowly gets the vote in favour of Aurelia Or and Runwiththetide.
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GUETAPAN COLLONGES ended last season in top form over hurdles and could make a winning return on his first crack chasing. Rob The Getaway and the consistent Romanor are a couple of others to consider.
On the face of it ECLAIR DES SABLONS faces no easy task on these terms, but it remains to be seen if likely favourite Humaniste will be able to live up to his current BHA mark on debut for new connections and, if he fails to do so, Katy Price’s charge could be the one to capitalise. The seven-year-old has been out of sorts of late, but this drop in grade will help. Secret Secret is best of the rest.
LONGSHANKS and Cadzand are both appealing now switched to fences. The latter is the more established of the pair and is likely to prove popular, but Longshanks did the job well when turning over a Paul Nicholls-trained hotpot in a Wincanton novice hurdle in February and he is taken to strike off what may prove to be a lenient opening mark. Black Kalanisi and Reserve Tank are others to consider.
CALL OF THE WILD couldn’t have been much more impressive in making a winning bumper debut at Huntingdon in May, so he looks one to follow over obstacles. Onemorefortheroad isn’t sure to be suited by this drop back in trip, but he’s still considered the main threat ahead of Lustleigh – who’s in the right hands to do better this season.
Lots of these arrive with question marks against them, so ZUCKERBERG is taken to end a long losing run on the back of his good Sedgefield second. Fencing debutants Fort Denison and Bretney both hail from good chasing yards and appeal as the duo to give him most to do in that order.
Given that COSTLY DIAMOND scored comfortably off a 10lbs higher mark over fences at Sedgefield in November, she’s well worth a chance to follow up returning to the smaller obstacles in a weak affair. Methusalar is a potential improver up in trip and Dorisa Queen starts out for a top yard, so they’re both regarded as feasible threats.
NORLEY was runner-up in a stronger contest than this at Exeter last time and represents an in-form stable. He’s fancied to gain compensation at the likely expense of Rebel Royal, who is potentially thrown in on old form. Dr Oakley is also considered despite having a huge absence to overcome.
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