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George Bewley has enjoyed an excellent autumn and the lightly raced 6yo STRIKE OF LIGHTING earns the vote on his return from a break. Large Action showed some promise in the spring and is second choice on his comeback, ahead of On We Go who has thrived since joining Gillian Boanas. Fathers Advice and Court At Slip are others to be interested in.
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Two-time point winner CRYSTAL GLORY was runner-up in a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Haydock in February and is taken to make a winning chase debut. On hurdle form Donna’s Double has something to find with a few of these but trainer Sandy Thomson is in excellent form and his horses often improve when switched to fences. Five-time Cartmel chase winner Rapid Flight is entitled to respect, while Mossy Fen needs to prove how much ability he retains.
The step back out of mares-only company and the penalty may ask further questions of her, but YOU WEAR IT WELL can still be taken to improve on the form of her hurdling debut success, especially if settling better. The return to a slower surface should hold no terrors either, judged on last winter’s bumper exploits. Perculator’s damside offers encouragement for 2m hurdles and she’s next best, ahead of Take Centre Stage.
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Barring an unlikely complete dryout, it might be hard to excuse another defeat for MILLDAM, with no 130-plus rated rivals or sharp track to worry about this time. Bingoo and Top Cloud bring winning and placed C&D bumper form to the table and are respected accordingly, but the fine recent form of the Sandy Thomson yard garners Leading Force preference as main rival to the selection, assuming he doesn’t prove in need of further.
A tight race and good cases can be made for most of them. Top of the list is the novice STORM LORENZO, who ran well to finish third in the Durham National last time despite making a bad blunder three out. Last year’s runner-up Prince Dundee is second choice, ahead of the Irish raider Diegos Way then the in-form Dee Star.
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Not hard to regard this as a coin toss between GRAYSTOWN and Treshnish, compilers of five wins and three places from ten C&D starts between them. The form of the first-named’s second place here last time has already received two shots in the arm which, allied to his hailing from a yard rather more among the winners, gains him the verdict. Coolmoyne can reverse April form here with Bandit D’Ainay if taking to cheekpieces, and completes the shortlist.
Today’s drop back in trip is unlikely to be a problem for PADDY THE HORSE (nap), who reverts to a handicap after winning a 2m4f course maiden last month and is probably still on a workable mark. He gets the vote ahead of triple C&D winner Fringill Dike, who didn’t run well last time and will have something to prove if the ground is worse than good to soft but is evidently very well suited by this track. Battle Of Toro is next on the list.
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