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Bottom weight CHENG GONG has a habit of finishing second or third but he has far less to prove that today’s rivals and this could be a good opportunity to return to winning ways. Perhaps Bold Plan will be the danger on this big drop back in grade, with course winner Some Detail next on the list.
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Tigerbythetail was a promising fourth behind the exciting Hillcrest at Aintree in November and is firmly in calculations on that form, and soft ground is a possible excuse for a lesser run at Uttoxeter in December. However, preference is for the lightly raced point winner HOMETOWN HERO, who returned to form when runner-up at Ludlow recently on his second start back from a long absence.
This might not take much winning and it looks a good opportunity for TARA ITI to follow up last month’s win at Plumpton. The very lightly 8yo Sweet Spirit makes her handicap debut and could be the chief threat, especially if well backed. The 13yo Kilcaragh Boy may be a fair each-way option at a price despite being 5lb out of the handicap.
A 2lb rise for Le Grand Lion’s win at Huntingdon in December could prove to be lenient but the finishing effort of STORM OF LIGHT at Leicester in December firmly indicates he’ll be suited by this step up in trip, and this unexposed 6yo gets the nod. Schalke also has potential now up in distance, while Shah An Shah reverts to hurdle having been given a chance by the handicapper.
The lightly raced 6yo GUETAPAN COLLONGES (nap) has a progressive profile and is taken to follow up last month’s win at Wetherby. Animal’s career is also on an upward curve and he’s respected, but he’s jumped to the left on his first three runs over fences and today is his first chase start at a right-handed track. Brianstorm is inconsistent but has the ability to play a part.
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For Fitz Sake may be 18lb wrong at the weights for his handicap debut but this point winner is nevertheless an intriguing contender as he could improve significantly for the switch to fences and this marked step up in trip. Paseo is another to monitor in the market on his first run for Venetia Williams, but preference is for FREDDY FANATAPAN who got the job done nicely at Huntingdon on his chase debut. Wetherby winner Bring The Action can also go well but For Fitz Sake is feared most.
All of these were either tailed off or pulled up last time out. However, for ANNIE NAIL it was at 125-1 on heavy going in a maiden hurdle and this very lightly raced ex-pointer could appreciate today’s forecast better ground and the switch to fences. Fellow chasing newcomer Rosearelli is another possible improver and she’s second choice.
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