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Joly Maker wasn’t seen to best effect when only fourth at Uttoxeter last time (he was left with too much to do) but he shaped as if he should still be treated as if in form. He ran well when runner-up at Bangor on his previous start, and his chasing experience tilts the scales in his favour.
Brother Pat has taken well to chasing and he made it four wins from six starts over fences when scoring at Sedgefield a few weeks ago. That 12-length success was a clear career-best effort from Brother Pat and there was a lot to like about the performance, with his assured jumping especially impressive. He has a 10 lb hike in the weights to defy but he is a chaser on the up and his trainer Donald McCain remains in superb form, so Brother Pat can enhance his excellent strike rate over fences.
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There’s not much form to go on here, but Feast has an appealing profile and is worth siding with on debut. Feast is by popular sire Walk In The Park and out of a half-sister to the very smart chaser Kempes, who won two Grade 1s, including the Irish Gold Cup. Feast is in excellent hands with Fergal O’Brien, a trainer who has a superb record in bumpers.
Greatest Star was a fair performer in bumpers last season, showed some promise on his hurdling debut at Hereford a few weeks ago and he is worth siding with in a maiden hurdle lacking depth. Greatest Star was unable to sustain his effort and ultimately had to settle for fourth at Hereford but he ought to come on for that run and that experience. That experience gives him the nod over Sure Touch, who won a bumper on debut last season but ran no sort of race in a Grade 2 bumper at Aintree.
Lelantos produced his best effort yet when runner-up at Fontwell a couple of weeks ago, sticking to his task all the way to the line and making a subsequent winner dig deep. This slight drop in trip isn’t in the favour of Lelantos, who saw things out thoroughly at Fontwell, but he is still relatively unexposed and clearly in good heart, so another bold bid looks on the cards from just a 2 lb higher mark.
Bembridge was disappointing on his reappearance at Ffos Las last month but heavy ground offers an excuse for that effort and he is worth another chance under less testing conditions. He had won his previous start at the course in May and there is nothing wrong with that form as the runner-up went on to win his next two outings. Bembridge remains unexposed and capable of better away from testing ground.
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Major Snugfit enjoyed a good campaign on the Flat in 2021, winning three times, and he produced his best effort yet over hurdles at Sedgefield a couple of weeks ago. Major Snugfit won that handicap hurdle by two and a half lengths but he had more in hand than the margin would suggest as he idled after the last when in control. He is 5 lb higher here but is still well treated on his Flat form and can follow up his Sedgefield success.
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