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This looks a fine opportunity for WISEGUY to make a successful start over hurdles and especially after the form of his bumper win received a timely boost last weekend. Datsalrightgino is another whose bumper form looks better now, and he could make a race of it.
Of the rest, Silastar may improve for getting back on good ground and Get Prepared was in the process of showing improvement when falling last time.
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Gary Moore is on a great run and DORKING LAD is fully entitled to be physically and mentally sharper after last month’s chase debut here. Romanor has been admirably consistent for a while now and he may give him most to think about.
The worry for Galtee Mountain is good ground and with Auld Sod it’s a very poor conversion rate. Therefore, this looks a good opportunity for LIFEISAHIGHWAY, who didn’t run at all badly on his recent chase debut at Kelso.
British debutant MOULINS CLERMONT ran to a fair level on his only French start and it looks highly significant that he returns in a race which his stable has dominated in recent seasons. Boulette is second choice in the hope that a hood sees him settle better. Flat winner Beowulf could also feature, given that Michael Bell has done well with his few runners under NH rules
Given that Jaunty Soria needs to bounce back from a disappointing display last time, Jessica Rabbit has a poor strike-rate and the bottom two in the weights have a bit to prove, the finish may be fought out by Bleue Away and WHITE HART LADY. The former is tempting after a good run over fences last time, but narrow preference is for Harry Fry’s mare, who may be able to build on her promising effort on her handicap debut here.
Although Le Breuil is weighted to win this if anywhere near his best, it’s a long time since his Cheltenham Festival win and it can pay to look elsewhere. GLENO (NAP), who was progressive last season, should be primed for this and his yard remains in fine form. Top weight Almazhar Garde may give him most to do.
The upwardly mobile Quinta Do Mar could prove a tough nut to crack, but there has to be a chance that the best of NATURAL HISTORY has yet to be seen over hurdles and he is taken to get the better of Ben Pauling’s runner. Humaniste is an intriguing runner and it would be no surprise to see him involved at the finish.
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