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1.20pm - Pertemps Newton Handicap (1m4f)
CAESAR'S PALACE didn't achieve much in three starts last year as a juvenile at around the mile distance but last month's return to action at Nottingham (1m2f, good) brought a much improved showing upped in distance with a winter behind him.
It wasn't perfect, given he was away slowly, and he took a while to get into full cry before rallying into second close to the winning line. That all points to there being more to come from Simon & Ed Crisford's charge with a run behind him and now with his stamina further teased out. The form of that Nottingham contest also looks solid.
Down To The Kid has been in good form on the Tapeta at Southwell in recent weeks, posting two wins and a second, and has his chance if bringing that form across to the grass, while the same is true of recent Wolverhampton winner Fearless Bay.
Grimsby Town didn't appear to relish blinkers at Dunstall Park last month and would have a squeak here based on his opening two efforts, while Spirit Of UAE is another open to better things after only three starts.
Selection: Caesar's Palace
Next Best: Grimsby Town
1.50pm - Pertemps Network Conditions Stakes (6f)
These terms would certainly appear to offer every chance for GLEN SHIEL to make a winning seasonal bow. The runner-up in the 2020 Group 1 Sprint Cup at this track, he filled the same position in the Diamond Jubilee and Champions Sprint at Ascot last season and more than held his own in a seven-race campaign exclusively at Group-race level.
He wasn't beaten far in a Group 2 at the Curragh last season on reappearance and ought to be hard beat for Archie Watson and Hollie Doyle in this line-up.
Magical Spirit and Brad The Brief look the main dangers on paper, though the former has to concede 4lb to his two main rivals. Hugo Palmer's runner, meanwhile, does boast a C&D success from 2020 and may give Glen Shiel most to worry about.
Selection: Glen Shiel
Next Best: Brad The Brief
2.25pm - Pertemps Network Long Distance Handicap Hurdle (3m)
Lots of these arrive in good form, with as many as eight last-time-out winners in the field helping to ensure it should be a lively betting heat.
Wbee was back from 233 days off and needed every inch of three-miles at Cheltenham last month to overhaul re-opposing Pileon - the pair well clear - for what was his fifth straight win over hurdles. He's up 4lb here.
Jet Of Magic enjoyed March successes at Doncaster and Wetherby at up to 2m5½f and could have more to come at this increased distance, while Panic Attack and hat-trick seeking Neon Moon are potential players for trainer David Pipe.
Bronson In Blue completed a hurdles double in a Hexham novice in March and is fancied to run well for Irish trainer John McConnell now. He hasn't been with this trainer long and he's got Cian Walsh taking 7lb off his back.
Top-weight Proschema might well have won a Listed 3m Cheltenham handicap in November had he got over the second last, Dan Skelton's charge is the class act in here on is return, though is weighted accordingly, leaving SHANTOU EXPRESS as the choice for Kim Bailey for in a wide open contest.
He wasn't seen to best effect in a tactical four-runner Ffos Las contest three weeks ago, finishing third, but could have more to offer now upped to this distance, given the consistent profile he's got over timber thus far.
Selection: Shantou Express
Next Best: Bronson In Blue
3.00pm - Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3, 1m7½f)
A classy renewal of this Swinton Handicap Hurdle and a field of 17 where cases can be made for plenty.
Anna Bunina had West Cork behind in second when taking out the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr last month and the Irish mare should remain competitive with her ratings-rise offset by a claimer now.
The Skelton runner, meanwhile, has done precious little wrong finishing fourth to State Man (Grade 1 winner since) at the Cheltenham Festival and second in that Ayr contest and must be shortlisted again.
Others to join him are Miss Heritage, Herbiers, Cormier, Severance and Peltwell.
LUTTRELL LAD gets the nod for Philip Hobbs and Tom O'Brien, however. He's only had four starts over timber and his figures read 1222. He travelled like the best horse at Chepstow last month before finishing second to the Paul Nicholls-trained Silent Revolution. His finishing effort was underwhelming, but the pair were more than 30-lengths clear of the remainder.
He was also second to stablemate Camprond in the Persian War Novices' Hurdle at the Welsh layout in the autumn and an opening mark of 135 could underestimate him.
Selection: Luttrell Lad
Next Best: West Cork
3.35pm - Pertemps Network Spring Trophy Stakes (Listed, 7f)
It will be interesting to see how Sir Dancealot fares in the betting, given we haven't seen him in 648 days and he's now starting out for a new trainer. He would have claims if retaining his ability.
Safe Voyage was a dual Group 2 winner in 2020 and scored in Listed company last summer at Chester. He ran midfield at odds of 50/1 in the Lincoln on his comeback and could have a challenge in him now.
Royal Commando, too, is capable of throwing his hat in the ring. He won a 6f Listed contest at Doncaster last March on his first run of the season. This trip might just stretch him stamina, however, and he also has a query over him with 'soft' in the going description.
Rhoscolyn may go well for a long way in the lead but this surely revolves around ALDAARY. He progressed in the handicap ranks last season and ended the term on a real high, winning at Ascot over 7f on heavy in early October and then defying a 6lb penalty over the mile back there a fortnight later.
He won on seasonal bow last term and with ground conditions right in his favour and every chance he will excel on this track, the William Haggas inmate should take this prize en route to contesting at a higher level this summer.
Next Best: Safe Voyage
4.10pm - Pertemps Network Open NH Flat Race (1m7½f)
Last season was outstanding for trainer Milton Harris and he will be eager to carry that momentum with him into the new term. TWINJETS was well found in the market for last month's debut at Hereford and while he was allowed to dictate matters in front all the way around, it was hard not to be impressed in the manner he kicked clear of four rivals late on, scoring by a dozen lengths without being fully extended. He's got a 7lb penalty to defy, and would likely be fancied to do that in any case, but Bradley Harris offsets with a 10lb claim in the saddle and they can bag this bumper.
Hourvari ceded experience to all-the-way winner Hardy Fella at Fontwell in January, with the third home a good winner since at Hereford, and Olly Murphy's charge looks the main danger on that basis.
Next Best: Hourvari
4.45pm - Pertemps Handicap (7f)
Global Esteem should be a contender back on turf and has winning soft-ground form.
Reputation was ahead of TRUE BLUE MOON at Catterick when second-best behind Wizard D'amour last month and that form has been franked since on more than one occasion. The selection would likely have needed the run on his comeback and now has the looked of being well-treated for the Tim Easterby yard.
He finished that race off in eye-catching fashion and the softer going here could well ensure he turns around the form with Ruth Carr's charge.
Follow Your Heart continued a reliable start to his time with Mark Loughnane when fourth at Kempton in midweek and he won't mind some dig underfoot here. With George Bass now claiming 5lb on his back, it would be no shock to see them going very close indeed.
Selection: True Blue Moon
Next Best: Follow Your Heart
5.18pm - Pertemps Network Handicap (1m)
Mystery Fox had the best of the 2YO form from this lot and Roger Varian's charge could take some halting if progressing after his winter off. He is, though, the only runner in the field back for his seasonal bow and that could count against him fitness-wise.
After novice wins on the all-weather at Newcastle and on turf at Redcar this spring, both over this mile trip, MUHTASHIM should have more to offer now going into handicaps. He gave 7lb to a promising sort last time and, pleasingly, was much more settled in the early part of the race before showing a willing attitude at the end. Ed Dunlop's charge is capable of better still.
Out From Under landed a maiden at Newmarket last month on his seasonal comeback (fourth start) and he did so in decisive fashion late on, ensuring there's a good chance he can take this rise in trip in his stride now moving into handicaps.
Next Best: Out From Under
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