Triple Champion Hurdle winning jockey Steve Smith Eccles previews the action.
Despite the soft going short priced backers could well get off to a good start thanks to Definightly who takes in the 2.10 and is a worthy favourite based on the strength of his two runs to date; fifth on his debut in a six furlong Nottingham maiden before staying on strongly, and just going down by half a length, when runner up to the favourite Nasri at Newbury over the same trip. That run was on good to soft going, suggesting he should handle the ground more than most today and, with the opposition looking moderate, to say the least, he should oblige in the opener.
In the 2.40 it might be worth an each way bet on Hameildaeme as the Newmarket dogs are barking about this one ahead of her handicap debut. She has had trouble getting her head in front of late but her latest start, when runner up in a Warwick maiden, was on soft ground so there is a chance she will be favoured by the testing conditions here. Apprentice jockey David Probert’s five pound claim is also a bonus, leaving her receiving weight all round, and she must have a decent chance of making the frame at the very least.
At 5.10 Ed Dunlop’s Girl of Pangaea looks sure to go off favourite but his horses are well known for improving for their first run and she has been off the track for 303 days. Looking for a race fit opponent seems the sensible option and Luca Cumani’s Mazaris fits the bill. An improving sort, who has got better with each of his three runs so far, he only went down by two and a half lengths at Great Leighs when second to Lady Brora in a mile maiden. He has improved again at home for that run, by all accounts, and looks to have a good chance of getting off the mark here.
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