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Frero Banbou has some really good form that ties in with Editeur Du Gite and his run when third to him at Cheltenham last time looks promising. Trainer Venetia Williams’ recent strike is an added bonus. Of the others, Eclair D’ainay won very nicely at Wetherby and has no worries about the ground. Dan Skelton could have a busy few days at Lingfield as he seems to have targeted this valuable meeting with some of his string.
Warren Greatrex’s Emitom has been running over fences but doesn’t look a natural over fences. He has run well though in places though and was third behind the smart Threeunderthrufive at Doncaster last time in a Grade 2 contest. He has won at the track which is a plus, but the stable’s form is a worry though. On the Blind Side has kept lofty company and this looks a nice opportunity for him to get his head in front again. He won last year in a similar type of contest at Market Rasen on soft ground, so this could be right up his street if he can shake off that poor run 20 days ago.
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Kim Bailey’s mare Queenofhearts looks tailormade for chasing. She battled on really well at Haydock when winning in the mud when last seen in December 2020. Some of her form is top notch and she gets all the allowances here and looks a bit of value play against a few of these.
Hold That Taught is well regarded and was well fancied for the Welsh Grand National but disappointed on the day. He won’t be the last horse to get lost in that race! He had previously looked really promising when winning at Carlisle but the form of that race has taken a bashing since then.
We have hit the jackpot with a couple of Emmet Mullins’ challengers from Ireland this could be another one. He was only narrowly beaten when not knocked about at Fairyhouse and can only improve for that run. Carrarea has won two bumpers and the only concern is the heavy ground – you have to take that a little on trust.
The other Irish raider Lucky Max is one you don’t have to worry about on the ground. When he won at Cork it was soft, however his finishing time over the last three hurdles was two seconds faster than Supreme Novices hurdle fancy, Dysart Dynamo at the track the next day. It was a very impressive turn of foot and he has to be respected. The handicapper has had his say though and he is now 18lbs higher (now rated 136) than his winning mark that day. Metier has promised a lot in his career but hasn’t quite delivered yet. He will handle the ground and trainer Harry Fry will be hoping he can bounce back to form.
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