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1.15 - Watch Racing Free Online At Ladbrokes EBF Novice Stakes (1m2f)
Otyrar shaped with plenty of promise on his second start at Wolverhampton 15 days ago over this sort of trip, finishing third. The unbeaten winner Sea The Shells looks well above average and the chances are that this son of New Approach can have a say in the finish now.
That said, he does meet a pair of promising rivals here in the form of Arthur's Realm and PILLAR OF HOPE.
Mark Johnston trains the latter and he showed improved form at Newcastle five weeks ago when running out a ready winner over four rivals. He's got a penalty to defy now but is likely capable of better still. The form of his July turf debut seventh at York has worked out supremely well and he had few problems turning away odds-on jolly Three Platoon over a mile at Newcastle last month. This increased trip should be to his liking and he may be good enough to defy his penalty.
Ed Dunlop's Camelot colt Arthur's Realm went off a massive 150/1 on debut at Doncaster in September, but shaped with plenty promise and duly built on that when third next time at York (1m, soft) before ending his juvenile season with a runner-up finish at Newmarket (1m2f, heavy) in October. That form is also reliable and he won't go down without a scrap.
1.45 - Ladbrokes Magnolia Stakes (Listed, 1m2f)
The feature contest comes up early on the card and this race seems to revolve around Saudi Cup disappointment GLOBAL GIANT on the opening weekend of the new training alliance between father and son, John and Thady Gosden.
His trip to Riyadh didn't go to plan and he simply didn't appear to handle the dirt surface under Frankie Dettori. He was a Listed Polytrack winner at Dundalk over this trip in 2018 when trained by Ed Dunlop and also won easily at Wolverhampton in a Conditions race in January last year, on first start for this trainer.
He notched a second Listed-level win at Newbury (1m2f, good) last summer and is well clear of his four rivals on ratings. He's had five weeks to get over his Saudi exploits and rates very much the one to beat now.
Mark Johnston's Sky Defender is likely to make the running and shouldn't be allowed too much rope in that scenario, but perhaps the main threat comes from Faylaq. He's got ground to make up with Global Giant from that Newbury race in July but he did record an easy C&D success on his only previous all-weather start. William Haggas' team are in form and the Newmarket trainer would dearly love to record a fitting success in the Hamdan Al Maktoum silks, so soon after the iconic owner/breeder passed away.
2.15 - Ladbrokes Rosebery Handicap (1m3f)
It's another clash between the Haggas and Gosden teams here, this time with both representing those Hamdan Al Maktoum colours.
Haggas and Richard Kingscote have strong claims on this occasion with AL ZARAQAAN, seeking a four-timer having won all three starts since his debut at Newmarket over 7f in the autumn of 2019.
He defied an absence to score at Doncaster (1m2f, good) in June and was again successful after a break over C&D in late November. He had no concerns following up soon after at Lingfield over 1m4f, beating a pair of subsequent winners into the places. The son of Golden Horn isn't done improving yet on that evidence and should take the beating.
The Gosden representative is Almighwar, winner of back-to-back novice contests over 1m4f here last summer. He was a disappointing favourite when only fourth of five on handicap bow in October, again here, but likely is better than he showed that day.
Dark Pine has quickly improved since arriving from Ireland and is 2-2 for new trainer David Loughnane, another bold showing is forecast from him, while the very consistent United Front should have a challenge in him if getting a solid pace to aim at upped in distance.
2.45 - Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Handicap (6f)
Seven contenders for this sprint and it's impossible to rule anything out. May Sonic is 2-2 over track and trip and still didn't appear to have reached the bottom of the well last time. That win leaves him with a definite edge over Nigel Nott, who was well held more recently at Lingfield.
Any money coming for the returning Great Ambassador on first start for Ed Walker would need to be noted. He went close here for Ralph Beckett when last spotted.
Gulliver enjoys himself at Kempton and cannot be factored out returning here, but STREAMLINE may be the answer after his return to winning ways at Wolverhampton a fortnight ago. He had the re-opposing Lord Rapscallion behind in fourth under a perfectly-timed Ryan Moore ride that afternoon and, with confidence boosted, could still be capable of more.
The Due Diligence colt won a Group 3 over C&D in September 2019 in strong fashion before missing 16 months. He's had just four runs back and while he was behind May Sonic and Nigel Nott here last month, he's a couple of pounds better off now and that recent success gives rise to the notion he can turn it around.
3.20 - Ladbrokes Committed To Safer Gambling Novice Stakes (6f)
Klopp of The Kop is one to monitor in the betting on first start for the David O'Meara yard. He had some promising turf form as a two-year-old and the Excelebration gelding could still deliver on it, now returned to action and making his all-weather bow on the back of a 521-day layoff. A mark of 77 could be within reach for him before too long.
Praise The Lord is a newcomer from the James Fanshawe string and the Bated Breath colt is also one to be monitored for positive vibes.
Crantock Bay is 0-14 at this point and has been beaten favourite in three of his last four starts. The blinkers are tried here and a reproduction of January's Chelmsford run, where he was second in a maiden to a rival now rated 85, might well be good enough for the breakthrough win.
BIGGLES was fancied in the betting on second start at Wolverhampton (1m½f) earlier this month and having travelled well, Ralph Beckett's colt didn't appear to get home. There are races to be won with him and he might be good enough to bag this one dropped in trip.
3.55 - Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side Handicap (7f)
To The Bar sets the standard on his novice successes at Southwell and Wolverhampton in December. He came up shy in a Listed contest over this trip at Lingfield this month on his only start since but should find this more to his liking.
He does however have to give 7lb to the promising handicap debutant TAWLEED for John and Thady Gosden. Having got the silver medal in his first two starts last summer, he justified odds-on favouritism in good style at Leicester (7f, good to soft) in September, showing a nimble turn of foot in a race where he cut out the running.
He's been gelded since that run and, assuming he handles the Polytrack, he looks the one to beat on these terms. Recent C&D second Fangorn commands a close look on his handicap bow, while the consistent Nortonthorpe Boy will likely give his running again but may be vulnerable to a few of these.
4.30 - Play Ladbrokes 1-2-Free On Football Handicap Division 1 (1m4f)
Ilhabela Fact came within a whisker of a sixth course win earlier in the month with a return to form. He's up 2lb for that runner-up effort and must back it up now, though he's undoubtedly well handicapped if doing so.
The likes of Angels Roc, Double Legend and Broken Rifle can all be considered as players - especially the last-named for Ivan Furtado now tackling this 1m4f journey for the first time. He's been running well through the winter months and should continue to do so, but his record stands at just one win in 18 career starts and so does need to prove his barrel can be trained on more success.
This could therefore prove a good piece of placement for Mark Johnston's filly AVENTURIERE. She had shaped with some promise in novice contests at Chelmsford and Lingfield early last year and returns from a 14-month absence to make her first foray into handicaps. She does so from a lowly mark of 58 and could be underestimated in the betting.
5.05 - Play Ladbrokes 1-2-Free On Football Handicap Division 2 (1m4f)
The finale is a tough get-out for punters with 11 runners in a competitive second division of this handicap. Devizes is flying and bids for a four-timer having sandwiched Lingfield successes with a win here (odds-on) in three runs this calendar year. He's up another 4lb for his win three weeks ago but has to be considered a major player on current form.
French Minstrel was also a winner at Lingfield over this distance on his most recent start. The newly-applied visor appeared to have the desired effect as he left all previous form behind. The handicapper has only been able to nudge him up 1lb for the slender success and there might be more to come.
CHINESE WHISPERER gets the nod for the Alan King team. He shaped with promise over C&D last month on his first attempt at this distance (fifth) and was only beaten a half-length back here soon after as 5/2fav in a first-time visor (retained). Hollie Doyle was on board then and the partnership took up the running a long way from home, only to be swamped late on - as can be the case here. He's 2lb higher here but certainly not handicapped out of this if Hector Crouch can deliver him slightly later.