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Dark Horses Thurs 10th Feb

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1:17 Ffos Las – Sam’s the Man

In 4 starts under rules SAM’S THE MAN has been sent off at big prices every time, but he has primarily been campaigned over what looks to have been an inadequate trip and there is a good chance that the step up to 2-miles 5-furlongs will bring out considerable improvement. After 2 runs in bumpers at Cheltenham and Chepstow in the autumn, he returned in January and has finished 4th and 3rd in a pair of Novice hurdles at Chepstow. Only the last occasion, he finished 3rd to Everything’Sontick, beaten 12-lengths, but he was doing his best work at the finish and ran through the line in a manner that would suggest this trip will be well within range. The winner and 2nd in that race came into that contest with solid form in Novice races, whilst the 4th was a last-time out bumper winner and the 5th, One for the Wall, who was 28-lengths behind Sam’s the Man, finished 2nd at Fontwell on Monday. Hindsight is a great thing in racing, but we can upgrade his last run at Chepstow, which makes this son of a point and bumper winning mare very interesting.

2:27 Ffos Las – Soldier of Destiny

The 2 last time out winners in this Novice chase, Yggdrasil, and Pride of Lecale could be hard to beat, but the form of both their victories can certainly be questioned and there may be some better value in playing SOLDIER OF DESTINY against them. Jamie Snowdens 6-year-old had some solid form in Irish maiden hurdles and won a Point-to-Point here in November by 20-lengths. He finished 4th in a much deeper race than this at Hereford last month, beaten 11-lengths by the now 138 rated Red Rookie. He raced prominently throughout that contest and found himself in a battle for the lead with the very tough Galice Macalo and probably paid for those exertions in the closing stages. He enters handicaps on a very workable mark of 122 and has had a wind operation since that last run. With the Jamie Snowden team operating at a 40% strike rate, it will be a disappointment if he can’t go close at Class 4 level.

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