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CALL ME HARRY made a promising start to his career when winning a bumper at Musselburgh last month, drawing clear inside the final furlong to land the spoils by nearly three lengths. He is clearly blessed with plenty of speed, which is no surprise given his Flat pedigree, and this test should play to his strengths. He is taken to defy a penalty to maintain his unbeaten record.
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BEST PAL hasn’t shown much under Rules to this point, but he is fancied to leave his previous efforts behind now stepping up markedly in trip for his handicap debut. A BHA mark of 85 gives him a lowly base to build from and the application of cheekpieces for the first time could also unlock further progress. Successful in a point last year, he could be worth siding with at double-figure odds for the in-form Samuel Drinkwater yard (five winners from last 19 runners).
BOB’S BAR was a shade disappointing when third on his latest outing at Catterick, but he had shown a fairly useful level of form in three previous starts over hurdles. This looks just an ordinary contest on paper and Bob’s Bar has achieved much more than any of his seven rivals according to Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings. He can concede weight all round to resume winning ways.
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SOUNDS RUSSIAN made it back-to-back wins with another dominant performance at Kelso five weeks ago, powering clear on the run-in to land the spoils by 16 lengths with plenty in hand. This will be tougher following a further 11-lb climb in the weights, but he is unlikely to go down without a fight in his hat-trick bid. After all, there is every chance we haven’t seen the best of him yet after a total of only six starts over jumps.
DEDANSER matched his previous efforts over hurdles when filling the runner-up spot on his handicap debut at Wetherby on Boxing Day, sticking to his task well to be beaten less than five lengths. That form sets the standard now back in a maiden hurdle and the application of first-time cheekpieces could give him the edge he needs to get off the mark. The red-hot form of the Donald McCain yard (seven winners in the last seven days) also gives cause for plenty of optimism.
ROLLERRULER bounced back to his best when making a winning start for the Stuart Coltherd yard at Hexham in November, always doing enough to win by a length and a half. Admittedly, he has failed to repeat that effort in two subsequent starts, but this represents a significant drop in grade and a BHA mark of 93 is far from insurmountable judged on the balance of his form.
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CANCAN shaped very well when filling the runner-up spot on her latest outing at Ayr, travelling best and certainly going through the race as if still ahead of her mark. Beaten six lengths at the line by one who came from much further back, it was simply a case of Cancan doing too much too soon and she is well worth a chance to make amends here from just a 1-lb higher mark.
HALF TRACK showed a good attitude to get off the mark over hurdles at Ayr six weeks ago, finding plenty when challenged to win by half a length. That form is working out well and Half Track will command plenty of respect now making the switch to handicaps in his follow-up bid. An opening BHA mark of 115 already looks workable and he may yet have more to offer now stepping up in trip to three miles.
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