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It’s reasonable to assume Gazette Bourgeoise will play a major role but Irish point winner EUREKA CREEK chased home a useful rival on her rules debut at Leicester last month and any improvement upon that performance will make her hard to beat here.
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A low-grade handicap in which nothing is overly appealing. DR OAKLEY did at least run a promising reappearance race over too short a trip at Stratford. Blended Stealth is feared most on his handicap debut, ahead of That Ole Chestnut and Click And Collect.
We haven’t seen him since his very promising hurdle debut in October 2020 and he may not be straightforward but HOMETOWN HERO ought to be a very tough nut to crack if all goes to plan here. Come On Gruff was placed on last month’s hurdling debut and can play a significant role here but a bigger threat to the selection could come from Ballaquane, who stayed on well for second in a Wetherby bumper in March 2020 and might be seen to much better effect over today’s longer trip.
Although 9lb higher than for his handicap win over hurdles, FRENCHY DU LARGE was clearly expected to deal with that when a short-priced favourite on his chase debut at Carlisle. Hopefully, he can learn the lesson from that early departure. Will Sting is next best on his chase debut. Keep Rolling can also go well.
Wavering Down is respected after his creditable second at Chepstow in October but the suggestion is HURRICANE DYLAN, who didn’t see out 3m on soft ground at Haydock 16 days ago but looked the likely winner when travelling well in the home straight there and is sure to suited by the reduced emphasis on stamina here. Let Me Entertain U and Presentedwithwings are others to consider.
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This can go to lightly raced 5yo GETASTAR (nap), who was ultimately well beaten by a highly progressive rival on last month’s chasing debut but was unquestionably the clear second best that day and competes off the same mark here. Irish point winner Bring The Action ran well over hurdles on his seasonal debut and is feared most. Rebel Leader and Jurys Out also make the shortlist.
Some of the unexposed ones warrant attention in the betting but GAVIN has posted a good effort in defeat since last month’s emphatic C&D success and, if he copes with today’s slower ground, he might be the answer. Greatest Star is not an easy horse to assess after last month’s small-field novice win but he’s in good hands and open to further improvement. Subway Surf has become rather disappointing but there’s no doubting she’s on a good mark if she can get her act together here.
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