Sea Wall score in good style over C&D three weeks ago but his subsequent 12lb rise could be enough to leave him vulnerable and preference is for TORNADO IN MILAN, who made all over 2m3f here last month and remains feasibly weighted. Royal Vacation has the potential to improve but seems to lack a change of gear and today’s drop back in trip may not be ideal. The other handicap debutant, Cobra De Mai, also has scope to progress but this race is much tougher than the juvenile maiden he won on his latest outing.
QUALANDO – Second of two wins last season came in the 4yo handicap at the Cheltenham festival but both runs since a break have been disappointing; today’s assignment looks easier but he needs to up his game and prove he’s fully effective on heavy ground.
SEA WALL – Failed to complete consecutive chases this winter but got back on track when convincing C&D winner over hurdles (heavy ground) last month; subsequent 12lb rise makes things tougher but he’s in good heart and will cope well with conditions.
TORNADO IN MILAN – Dug deep to make all over 2m3f here on heavy ground last month, his third win over hurdles; remains 3lb below mark off which he finished second in this race last year and can make another bold bid from the front.
ROYAL VACATION – Struggled to land a blow in 2m4f Grade 2 novice event last month but is in calmer waters here and showed plenty of promise in 2015, including when scoring at Wetherby (2m3f, good to soft); cheekpieces now added for first handicap.
LOCHNAGAR – Stayed on to claim moderate third behind Sea Wall over C&D (heavy) last month but never really got involved that day or when sixth at Sandown on Friday; remains on workable mark but needs to race with more zest; others preferred.
COBRA DE MAI – Won a French bumper in 2015; comfortably held on first two British/hurdle starts but came good against own age ground at Wetherby (2m, heavy) 11 days ago; faces tougher opposition in first handicap but could easily have more to offer.
RAFAFIE – Just one win from nine starts over hurdles but posted new career-best performance when second after absence at Wincanton (2m, soft) last month; untested on heavy ground and up in class today but no surprise if he makes his presence felt again.
myracing Forecast Prices: 100/30 Cobra De Mai, 7/2 Tornado In Milan, 5/1 Sea Wall, 11/2 Royal Vacation, Rafafie, 7/1 Qualando, 10/1 Lochnagar
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