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OLD CASTLETOWN (best price 3-1) did virtually everything right until having his pocket picked by the fast-finishing William Du Berlais over today’s C&D five days ago and is fancied to gain compensation returning to the scene of that stroke of ill-fortune. Setting out to make all the running, Ted Walsh’s charge did really well to see off a posse of challengers throughout that 2m contest, so it was to his great credit that he was able to stay on strongly all the way to the line despite being softened up by several that also wanted a piece of the action. Although he’s better known for his exploits over fences, the son of Fruits Of Love is clearly equally effective over hurdles and turned out quickly in a bid to take advantage of his favourable mark, he should once again make a bold bid from the front.
ST STEPHENS GREEN (NAP) (best price 7-4) gladly converted the penalty kick when finally getting off the mark at Killarney last time out and with his confidence well and truly boosted, he looks set to make hay off his current handicap mark. Prior to that easy victory 55 days ago, Emmet Mullins’ inmate had finished a creditable runner-up to subsequent Ebor winner, Heartbreak City, over hurdles at Galway, and with the fourth horse home that day, Morga, also going on to boost the form next time, a repeat of that sort of performance should be suffice this afternoon.
With one or two nagging doubts about the form of the Mouse Morris stable at present, the classy Smashing could well be vulnerable on his first start for new connections, so with that in mind, the value option could well turn out to be SADLER’S RISK (best price 5-2). Representing the favourite’s old yard of Henry De Bromhead, the son of Sadler’s Wells has some fair form next to his name when he finally makes it to the track and a repeat of his fine third in the Galway Plate in 2015 or his length runner-up spot behind the classy Alelchi Inois over today’s course last season would give him excellent claims of turning over one or two more glamorous names.
WHITE CHIN (best price 8-1) can’t afford to give away the kind of head start he did last time out against tonight’s field, but providing he does break a little cleaner, Tom Dascombe’s inmate has the ability to make a big impression. Not only did he manage to forfeit valuable ground here three weeks ago, he also got stopped in his run when trying to make headway down the home straight, so he did really well in the circumstances to finish as close up as he did. Prior to that unfortunate episode, the son of Mayson had exhibited a smart turn of foot to overcome a poor track position at Wolverhampton and if he can just get himself into a better slot here this evening, he has the qualities to give several sexier types a decent race.