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Cyrname is two from four over fences and arrives here on the back of a cracking effort when second in Grade1 company last time. Already a winner at this level and from a yard responsible for sending out seven of the last ten winners of this he is impossible to oppose and as such he wont be. The Unit is a promising type and his yard are going along nicely, twice placed over fences he ought to find races in this sphere but he may not be good enough today.



Since winning this last season Royal Birth has been rather disappointing and his recent form figures on the face of it are off putting, however, Stuart Williams charge is often a hostage to poor luck in running and he hasn’t had much good fortune of late. Now with a strong pace likely, a chance will be taken on him bouncing back and his odds have most certainly played him into getting the NAP status. Boom The Groom will surely pick a race up this term having failed to so far, often slowly away you just wonder whether he is on the downgrade nowadays but he warrants respect all the same.



French raider Beau Gosse is an interesting runner here for his shrewd trainer and as a winner at Listed Level in his home country he warrants plenty of respect today. Up against quite a few former flat horses today it is hard to figure who or which horse has achieved the most and given French horses have a reputation for being more forwards than their UK counterparts at this stage, he is handed a speculative vote. Redicean has won both of his starts to date and was formerly capable on the level, Alan King has his horses going well at the minute but trading currently at odds on despite being a scratchy jumper doesn’t entice me enough to advise backing him. Kasperenko was fairly useful on the flat and is interesting pitched in this deep on his debut and though Harmonise must improve she at least arrives here in good heart.



This looks a brutal renewal of the Eider and most of them have some sort of chance, 2015 winner Milborough has clearly had his problems but arrives here on a career low mark now. Well beaten when last seen at Catterick you can only guess that connections have him fit and ready to go and though he might be hard to fancy to win, his weight coupled in with his proven ability for this slog is still interesting enough for him to be given a token selection to place. Vinnie Lewis looks a stayer going places and he has won his last two well, this poses an altogether different question of him but if he shows no ill effects of the previous slogs he has a serious chance. Milansbar may have had his day in the sun last time and is up 9lbs as a result, a likable old warrior you wouldn’t totally dismiss him but his price is short enough. Hainan and Baywing are selected others with chances but nothing would be a shock in this.



Scarlet Dragon was a very good horse on the flat and is a most interesting recruit to the hurdling circuit, now in the hands of Alan King you would hope he adapts well but this trip could be on the short side and this is a tough enough introduction. Mont Des Avaloirs third at Sandown last time looks better and better each time you look at it and he is very much the one to beat as such, Paul Nicholls had a winner yesterday so the yard form is there and he gets to nod. Michael’s Mount and Destrier have to improve significantly to land this, both are lightly raced though and respect is afforded.



Clear Skies will likely go off favourite for this and though she probably has a little to prove in the UK, she could hardly have been much more impressive as the last day when hacking up at Dundalk. Owned by JP McManus and with Ryan Moore booked for the ride it is very hard to go against her, so hard indeed that we shall not and hope she’s up to this class instead. Utmost always looked likely to get better with time and the penny appeared to drop in the trial for this, if afforded another soft lead he would be very dangerous and is feared. Convey won this last season and is one of two from the Stoute yard, worryingly however he and Autocratic have been very weak in the betting for this. Khalidi is a dual listed winner on the turf from last term and is another to consider on his all weather debut, trainer Clive Cox knows how to ready one from a break and a market check is advised.



Art Mauresque likes it around here and ran as well as could be expected when chasing home the massively exciting Waiting Patiently last time, prior to that he had fallen and was pulled up but he is a fairly useful type in his own right and if his stamina holds out he could have a big say in this. Acting Lass has won his last three and was fairly impressive last time at Ascot despite jumping markedly to the left, that jumping quirk has shown itself before but it hasn’t stopped him of yet and he is respected as having a favourites chance. Master Dee has the form to be playing a major part in this despite edging up the weights, progressive and from an in form yard he looks as solid as any for the places.


written by Chris Connolly



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