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HURRICANE MITCH showed fairly useful form in bumpers, and didn’t go without promise in a pair of hurdle outings over shorter around this time last year. The type to be suited by the step up in trip now sent handicapping.
He makes the most appeal, so is taken to come out on top in a first-time tongue tie and first run since undergoing a breathing operation. Tip Top Cat, Bean In Trouble and Sienna Royale are others to consider in a wide open race to start proceedings.
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LUTTRELL LAD was a useful two-time winner in bumpers, and has made a promising start to life over hurdles too – winning at Worcester before finishing a good second in the Persian War at Chepstow last time, despite pulling too hard.
The drop back in trip should suit at this stage of his career and he shades the vote over I Am Maximus. He beat the now very smart hurdler My Drogo in a Cheltenham bumper 12 months ago, and looks very interesting despite not being seen for over a year.
LORD ACCORD was progressive over hurdles, and made the perfect start over fences when getting on top late in the day on chase debut at Uttoxeter last month. That was his first start for five months, and he strongly left the impression he would be suited by a return to a longer trip. He is taken to make light of a 3lbs rise and put his experience to good use. Castle Robin and Bobhopeornohope, who are both making their respective chase debuts, are a couple others to consider in an interesting affair.
FANFAN DU SEUIL was back on good terms with himself after a shocking 2020/21 season when runner-up on his return to action (winner that day since followed up) at Huntingdon, and he now looks very well treated on the pick of his form now racing from the same mark. Tulin needs to work on his jumping, but clearly has the potential to rate higher should his hurdling improve.
COCONUT SPLASH showed plenty to work on when placed on all three of his starts over fences last season, including when a 3-and-a-quarter lengths second to Chantry House at Wetherby in February. That form has been well advertised since, and he can prove himself well treated from a mark of 137 now back in a handicap.
Gallyhill reportedly suffered a breathing problem when sent off third favourite for the Grade 1 Sefton at Aintree, but is the sort that will make a chaser, and would be folly to ignore for a top yard.
MACFIN may not be totally straightforward (flashed his tail last time), but he’s clearly got plenty of ability. He got back on track after six months off when finishing second on chase debut at Fakenham last month.
He is entitled to build on that experience now and he could be the way to go. Heavey looked in control for most of the way before being collared late on at Fontwell three weeks ago, so he’s feared most and is sure to go close again if turning up in the same mood.
SABRINA has a huge absence to overcome, but she’d looked an above-average prospect in bumpers prior to disappointing at Kempton on her final start in March 2020. She has to be worth another chance now making her hurdling debut for a top yard in an ordinary-looking event. Drash On Ruby and Shirocco’s Dream are pick of those with experience, while Flying Nun could show a lot more now sent over obstacles given how she’s bred.
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