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Victoriano (second choice) and the unexposed Riggsby are closely matched on last month’s course and distance form and should play prominent roles, but a chance is taken on NASTASIYA.
This three-year-old filly showed her first promise for the Tristan Davidson yard when second in a Catterick juvenile hurdle last month and has a pedigree which suggests she could come into her own now tackling 2m for the first time on the Flat.
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Rainbow Dreamer is a really smart operator on all-weather at his best and is sure to go well if anything like primed for his first outing since June. However, preference is for COLTRANE, who shaped well on his recent return from an absence over 1m 4f at Kempton.
Andrew Balding’s charge faded late on over 2m 2f on soft in last year’s Cesarewitch on his sole outing beyond 1m 6f, but this slightly shorter trip should be right up his street. Last year’s winner Island Brave looks best of the rest.
The nine-year-old SIR CHAUVELIN had a bit up his sleeve when scoring over course and distance last time and can win again. The weakness of today’s opposition with help. Perhaps Shake A Leg can provide the most resistance.
Beauzon and Straits Of Moyle look highly likely to run well and are preferred in that order, while others lower in the weights have also run with credit recently. However, a chance is taken on LUXOR FLASH who has not run in a nursery, on all-weather or for Mick Appleby before but surely brings potential if bouncing back from his latest start and reverting to the form he showed when shaped promisingly over 5 furlongs on his first two outings.
A strong market move for Franz Strauss would look significant given that the Gosden stable has won this twice with a newcomer in recent years, including a future Group 1 scorer. However, the percentage call is NOLTON CROSS, who shaped well on his 1m Kempton debut last month and should have more to offer. Eydon and Polyphonic are other debutantes to note in the betting.
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Plenty have possibilities, but the most striking contender is MILLIONAIRE WALTZ (NAP), who made it 4-5 on Tapeta when completing a course and distance hat-trick in smooth style last month. Pallas Lord was a clear second off a reduced mark behind the selection last time and he’s feared most, ahead of hat-trick seeker Spartan Fighter who should make another bold bid back up in trip.
Vindobala has been placed here in his last two starts and is respected on his drop back in grade, while others to consider are Bronze River and Dick Datchery.
Penombre was only caught in the closing stages over course and distance 11 days ago and he could make another bold bid off an unchanged mark. Tanasoq didn’t get any luck here last month and is a big player if he gets the breaks this time, while Amasova should be in the mix again on her return to Tapeta.
However, the vote goes to BIRKENHEAD, who landed a gamble off a reduced mark at this track in October and may well be able to follow up on his first run for Paul Midgley.
James Tate’s TROIS VALLEES probably bumped into a couple of above-average newcomers at Doncaster and this looks like a good opportunity to get off the mark. Sweet Mist is preferred of the other four, ahead of her stablemate Whiteandblue.
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