16:55 Tramore

WITHALLDUERESPECT (best price 6/1) has improved with each run over fences and with her latest performance by some way the pick of the three, Henry De Bromhead’s mare can follow up her recent Clonmel victory at a course she’s already enjoyed a bit of success over hurdles.

After what could only be called a couple of ‘sighters’ just to get her eye in over fences, the daughter of Mahler was given a break to gather her thoughts, and based on what we witnessed when she returned to action following a 218-day break at the Powerstown Park venue, the pause that refreshes seemed to have done the trick.

Always jumping and travelling nicely 23 days ago, the eight-year-old mare led going well on the approach to two out and from that point onwards, she gradually worked herself clear of her toiling rivals. 

Clocking the best overall speed figure on the card, she also posted a faster final circuit time than the smart Barcardys and beginners chase winner Cornerkova, so even though the handicapper has tried to save further blushes by putting her up 9lb, that reassessment may still be someway short of her true capabilities.

17:40 Chelmsford

FLAG OF TRUTH (NAP) (best price 6/1) shaped quite nicely on his debut in an above-average contest at Leicester a month ago (much stronger than the one he faces today) and with the likelihood of a good deal more to come with that initial experience under his belt, at more positive outcome should be forthcoming. 

Sent off at 10/1 at the Midland venue, clearly one or two were expecting a decent show from the son of Starspangledbanner and although those beliefs failed to materialise to a degree, he did more than enough to suggest he will reward those who supported him further down the line. 

Settled towards the rear off a decent gallop set by Chasing Aphrodite, Roger Varian’s colt couldn’t quite go with the main players as the pace really cranked up three out, but once he finally found top gear, he was noticed doing some good late work close home. 

Only beaten four lengths in the end, the time figure and subsequent form of those in and around him 41 days ago (second, third and fourth all won since) point towards his performance being a good deal better than at first feared and with the strong possibility of today’s extra two furlongs playing more into his strengths – certainly based on his pedigree – the 170k purchase can start to repay some of that price tag by landing this maiden.