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ONE LAST GLANCE has a good jumping pedigree and showed improved form on handicap debut at Taunton last month before failing to stay the longer trip at Fontwell on Boxing Day. He raced freely on that occasion and wasn’t given a hard time once he began to weaken after the second last. The handicapper has eased him 2 lb in the weights now and he should be more competitive back at the minimum trip. Clear The Runway wasn’t given a hard time of it when fifth at Plumpton at the start of the month and is feared most.
Olly Murphy can boast an excellent record at this course and his SURE TOUCH remains open to improvement over hurdles. He shaped very well on his debut in this sphere at Southwell in November and, while he failed to meet expectations at Ayr last time, he looked one-paced that day so is expected to appreciate this step up in trip. The level of his debut form makes him the one to beat from what looks a workable opening mark. Pam Sly is another regular visitor to the winners’ enclosure here so William Cody, who like the selection could improve in handicaps, is second choice.
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ROSTELLO belatedly took advantage of a falling mark when resuming winning ways at Huntingdon on Boxing Day and a subsequent rise in the weights still leaves him fairly treated on the pick of his form. He appeared to be suited by the refitting of cheekpieces on that occasion, pressing on for home some way out and having a bit in hand at the line, so a 6 lb rise is more than fair. Dubai Guest won over three miles at this track in November and looks the biggest danger dropped back in trip.
TINY TANTRUM shaped well on his second start over hurdles at Market Rasen in May last year and ran to a similar level when runner-up in a first-time visor on handicap debut over course and distance last month. He would have likely gone close to winning too had he not received a bump from the winner jumping the final flight and he still looks well treated from a 1 lb higher mark. Midnight Mary wasn’t at her best at Warwick last time, but will be a danger to all if returning to her Doncaster form.
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Assuming that his below-par effort at Warwick recently can be attributed to the fitting of a visor, SOMEKINDOFSTAR will have every chance here with the blinkers restored. Indeed, he was a solid second in this headgear on his reappearance at Fontwell last month and a reproduction of that effort would probably be good enough to see him come out on top in this contest. Fairway Freddy now has a bit to prove, which leaves Doukarov as the clear main danger.
Given the manner of her debut point-to-point success, VALENCIA BORGET is of strong interest starting out under Rules in a race lacking strength in depth. Stamina certainly won’t be an issue for this 5-y-o, but there is a question mark in that respect where the speedily-bred Bounce Back is concerned, for all that she’s the one to beat judged on her Wetherby near-miss.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
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