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Dark Horses: 15th Feb

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1:00 Lingfield – Tokyo Live

Venetia Williams and Old Gold Racing will have been hoping for more from their French recruit when he made his debut at Exeter last month, but TOKYO LIVE was just fair too keen to do himself justice and it is best to put a line through that effort. He had previously shown some solid form when trained by Francois Nicolle in France, including when 2nd to Hiso on his debut at Dax in May. With the yard going so well it is pleasing to see him enter handicaps so quickly and he is clearly thought to be better than his opening mark of 102. This is one of the weakest handicap hurdles run this season and with Ned Fox excellent value for his 8lb claim in this race, it will be a huge disappointment if Tokyo Live can’t give a better account of himself this time.

3:55 Lingfield – SHOT BOLI

After 3 runs at the minimum trip in Novice/Maiden hurdles, the step up to 3-miles brought about significant improvement from SHOT BOLI as he landed a first success over hurdles at Ffos Las on his handicap debut earlier this month. Having settled in rear under Fergus Gillard, he made steady progress to take the lead at the 2nd last and kept on nicely after the last to record a 3-length victory over the 107 rated To Be Sure. The handicapper has put him up 7lbs for that success, but his new mark of 93 would still look to be very fair now that he is racing over the correct trip, and it will be a surprise if he doesn’t find further improvement on what will be just his 5th start under rules. The big field should suit his running style and with Tom Scudamore taking over the ride, he should go close against some mostly exposed rivals.

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