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The selection of yesterday ran below par yet again, and it's frustrating because I still honestly believe he will be in the winner's enclosure very soon. It's difficult to see that after his last two runs. His jumping wasn't great, and he was never really put into the race at any point.
This doesn't appear to be the strongest of Class 2 juvenile hurdle races you'll see all year, with some very average pieces of form on offer. KOTMASK gets my vote as he looked like a horse who could be above average, especially as a juvenile with the way he won at Fontwell. Granted the form isn't great, but you can't look past a 12L win on stable debut. Gary Moore knows what kind of horse he has on his hands as he also trains one of the leading juvenile hurdlers in Porticello, and I have no doubt in my mind they will have done work together at some point. The selection won a race at Fontwell which Gary Moore had previously won four time before, so it's a race he likes to target. The ground shouldn't be an issue based on his pedigree, and I think 2/1 is decent value. Parliament Hill might get backed in, due to connections of the horse. But I wasn't totally convinced by his jumping at Leicester. He won easily in the end, but he looked a work in progress.
The price has already gone on HIDDEN COMMANDER but I'm still going to have a little play on him, in hopes that the handbrake is off and they give it a real go with him. The reason why I believe they will try in this race is due to the fact that Phil Kirby has won the last two renewals of this race, so it wouldn't be a coincidence to see a big run from this well bred low rated 7yo, who showed a little more on his most recent start than what we've seen previously. He is a half brother to the good staying chaser, Roaring Bull, and is a full brother to the smart looking Latitude, who is 1/2 in bumpers. The ground should be fine, as he was a PTP winner on soft back in 2020.
I previously put up ANNIES PRAYER and I mentioned that he was in my tracker after an eye-catching run in a novices' race earlier last year. He ran well on seasonal reappearance, but looked in need of a longer trip. I then tipped him up again at another meeting, but the meeting was cancelled, so here we are again. This race doesn't look too competitive, and they have stuck with the idea that a longer trip is what he needs. He was staying on again at the finish of his most latest run, so there are signs that this will bring out further improvement. He is only rated 94, and I believe he is slightly better than that.
I'm giving a chance to ASHUTOR in this race, as I was very close to backing him last time out on his second start for Sophie Leech, but I didn't pull the trigger, which was obviously the correct decision as he didn't win. Even though he didn't win, I thought his run was very eye-catching and it appeared to me that he was still in need of the run despite the fact it was his second start, so today could be the day he is spot on. The way he travelled through the race last time was impressive, he got himself into contention, but when the race got to the final stages, his jumping fell apart, and I think that was due to him being tired, as the last few fences weren't like the start and mid parts of his round. He has been dropped 5lbs for that race, which is a help, and today he is dropped in class which should also be a benefit. This trip is still a bit of an unknown, but he will appreciate the ground, and he is overpriced in my eyes and worth a small bet.