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ITV Racing Friday gets under way here with the fabulously named Mucking Brilliant Handicap Chase over 2m. GREY DIAMOND should be in the mix off his current mark if fit to go. Trained by Sam Thomas and ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, my selection has a good second (promoted a place) at Ascot last season to Monsieur Lecoq to his name and that was off a mark of 133 and he’s 131 here. He hasn’t won for a while but is lightly raced and might have more to come so an eachway chance. First try at Cheltenham.
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This is a novices’ limited handicap chase over 2m4f. PULL AGAIN GREEN has been dropped 1lb since a fair third over course and distance in October. That experience might well prove useful and I suspect he’s better than that effort suggests in any case. A winner here over hurdles he must have fair claims in an open event for Paddy Brennan and Fergal O’Brien.
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Now a handicap chase for veterans over 2m4f. ELEGANT ESCAPE stays much further than this but might be hard to keep out the frame if he can keep up over the early fences. He’s always had a bit of class and ended last season on a high at Ascot. Brendan Powell takes the ride for Joe Tizzard. An eachway chance at big odds.
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Finally a Grade 2 novices’ hurdle over 2m5f. WEVEALLBEENCAUGHT looked like a strong stayer in the making when landing a bumper at Newbury in March. The form of that race has worked out well and he should be able to jump as he’s a point-to-point winner. Goes for new stable of Nigel Twiston-Davies with son Sam up on top which is no bad thing.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
Matt Chapman’s Friday Selections at Cheltenham
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