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Dino Velvet could make a race of this match if he brings his ‘A’ game but, on grounds of both class and potential, a clear round should see ANNUAL INVICTUS prove too strong.
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Ted’s Friend and Crystal Moon are interesting on their bumper form but neither ran particularly well over hurdles last time. HARDE FASHION and Next Left did though and, of the pair, marginal preference is for the Stratford runner-up.
Winless in two years, VISION CLEAR will get few better opportunities to end that unwanted sequence. Karakoram is the other one in form and makes far greater appeal than Whitlock, whose career has gone swiftly into reverse since winning a handicap here for Nicky Henderson. Greek Kodiac, who is of similar ability to the selection on the Flat, needs respecting.
Only Money is by no means certain to get the strong pace off which he looked so good at Huntingdon and preference is for NUMBERS MAN, who might have the run of things up front. Light N Strike is feared most.
Milton Harris is on a great run and his progressive 4yo MR YEATS looks good for the hat-trick with plenty in his favour. Cremant continues to run well but is struggling to convert, so perhaps Soldier On Parade will prove most troublesome. He had a valid excuse last time.
Silver Nickel is feared but UALLRIGHTHARRY (nap) is a course winner who stays this far and he probably found the ground a bit quick when shaping okay at Fontwell last time out. Black Centaur could also threaten if another change of headgear floats his boat.
Gary Moore’s ANTONY can gain compensation for his agonising last-gasp defeat at Fontwell. There are no obvious reasons as to why Soarlikeaneagle or Top Man should be reversing those placings and the main danger could be Jungle Prose.
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