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The Donald McCain-trained RED VISION got off the mark under rules at Bangor 11 days ago and can defy a penalty in this weaker race. Hurdling newcomer Robert Johnson didn’t show much on the Flat but his new trainer Rebecca Menzies is in fine form and he could be best of the rest.
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Feel The Pinch won off this mark over hurdles at Bangor 11 days ago and has to be respected but this is his first start over fences and preference is for AWAY AT DAWN, who was consistent prior to finding 2m4f beyond him at Musselburgh last time out in December. Bulldoze is second choice after an encouraging second of four over C&D last time, while C&D winner Caddyhill can’t be ruled out now back on better ground.
The rejuvenated Desaray Girl arrives on a four-timer and can go well once more but this looks tougher under a penalty. ASHINGTON (nap) is now 2lb lower than when winning this last year and earns the vote with the form of his last-time-out fourth at Kelso working out well. The consistent Zafar could also be in the mix, while course winner Lord Torranaga is an interesting candidate on his first hurdle outing since December 2020.
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Having been a good second over C&D last Tuesday from 5lb out of the handicap, ONENIGHTINTOWN is taken to land an overdue first win this afternoon. The lightly raced 5yo Yambocharlie could improve for the switch to fences and is feared most, while the well-handicapped Zuckerberg could go well now back up in trip and returned to good ground.
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Up With The Play is unexposed over staying trips and is a tempting option having been a good third at Hexham last time out, but there was a hint of promise from the lightly raced CRESSWELL QUEEN at Carlisle on her handicap debut and today’s good ground could be in her favour.
The lightly raced 6yo GUETAPAN COLLONGES stayed on well to win over 3m at Market Rasen last time and he can continue his progressive ways and land the hat-trick. The Donald McCain-trained Brother Pat won over C&D in November and is capable of a big run if minimising the blunders, while his stablemate Tim Pat made it 2-2 over fences at Haydock yesterday and would have to be respected if running again today.[
This is unlikely to take much winning and KINGS CREEK gets the nod, having posted fair efforts the last twice. Balkotic was a respectable fifth over C&D recently and is second choice, while Irish Sovereign may be able to get back on track after a break.
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