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Beyond Ambitious can make a successful start over hurdles. This mare was a useful type in bumpers and belied huge odds to reach the frame in a Grade 3 contest won by The Model Kingdom here last month before defeating the capable Walk In The Brise at Wexford a fortnight ago. She should make a useful hurdler and she gets the vote to see off Mitiva.

The latter won a Thurles bumper on her debut in the spring and should be all the better for her first run over hurdles at Cork at the start of the month when she was beaten eight lengths into third by Fascinating Shadow and the subsequent winner Igraine.


Next best: Mitiva

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A chance is taken on Salvador Ziggy who is making his third appearance over hurdles and is having his first outing for Gordon Elliott. He won a two-and-a-half mile bumper at Listowel in September before struggling to make an impact in useful maiden hurdles in the winter. He did run respectably in both of those races which were much stronger affairs than this one and which have produced a number of subsequent winners which bodes well for his prospects.

The 111-rated Free Handshake comes here off placed runs at Limerick and Kilbeggan and with experience and fitness on his side he rates a major threat. Another Choice, who won a Cork bumper on his most recent start in October, appeals as another leading contender.


Next best: Free Handshake

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Rebellious Gale can add to his victory at Limerick on Thursday evening. On that occasion the six-year-old appeared to have plenty to spare in beating Dalileo by just under three lengths and a 7lbs penalty is unlikely to prevent him from following up.

Shantou Lucky would look a threat now that he reverts to hurdles following a spell over fences. He won a handicap hurdle here in December and, while beaten on his next two outings over timber, he didn’t run at all badly in competitive contests at the height of the season.


Next best: Shantou Lucky

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It is hard to look past Direct Image who lines up in search of a five-timer. This good-ground-loving daughter of Shantou returned in great shape from a break of seven months to win a three-mile handicap hurdle at Tipperary with some ease earlier this month. That last effort earned her a 16lbs rise in the weights but she might still be able to prevail.

The top-weight Whatuscallher is interesting. She won this race last year and is just 4lbs higher than when scoring at Ballinrobe in the autumn. In addition she has quite a rapport with her jockey, Nico Terrassin, who has won twice and been placed three times from five rides on the mare.

Belle Metal has struggled somewhat in graded handicaps on her last two starts but they were much stronger races than this and she wasn’t beaten all that far in either race. She too is a contender.


Next best: Whatucallher

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Everglow has some useful beginners’ chase form to his name. On ratings he has work to do but some of his efforts last winter would entitle him to make his mark in a race like this and he is worth taking a chance on.

He ran respectably to finish second to En Beton in a beginners’ event over just short of three miles here on New Year’s Eve while his fourth to Blue Lord in a two-mile beginners’ event at Fairyhouse in December makes for good reading.

He is preferred to Lord Royal who was a promising novice hurdler and has shown on a couple of occasions that he would be up to making his mark in a race such as this. The ground is something of an unknown for him but he will find this much easier than either the Troytown or the Paddy Power Chases which he contested on his last two starts.


Next best: Lord Royal

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This might fall to Snugsborough Hall. The five-time winner showed that despite his advancing years he remains capable of smart form as evidenced by his effort in a Grade A Handicap Chase over this course and distance last month when he was beaten just under nine lengths into third by Royal Rendezvous. A repeat performance could be sufficient for him to prevail. Fire Attack is interesting and he is open to further progress in this sphere.

He won a confined beginners’ chase at Wexford in the autumn and showed better form to chase home Ciel De Neige in a two-mile rated chase here in February. He will run well if handling the ground.


Next best: Fire Attack

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Pink In The Park should avail of a drop in class. She looked a major talent when bolting up in a Listowel bumper in September and then held her own in quality mare’s bumpers in the spring as evidenced by a second to Dorans Weir at Fairyhouse over Easter and a fifth to The Model Kingdom in a Grade 3 bumper here last month.

Her biggest danger would appear to be Gaoth Chuil who has filled the runner-up spot on both her outings so far, the most recent of which saw her chase home Stormalong at Cork three weeks ago.


Next best: Gaoth Chuil