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Dark Horses: Weds 2nd Feb 2022

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1:50 Leicester – Anglers Crag

This isn’t the deepest Novice hurdle there has ever been and whilst Dubrovnik Harry and Jet Plane both arrive here with winning form, they both have penalties to carry for their success and there could be better value in backing ANGLERS CRAG each-way.

He won his only start between the flags when a 4-length winner of a gelding’s maiden at Ballindenisk in 2020 and quickly built on that when landing a Fairyhouse bumper on his first start under rules later that same year. He has plenty of solid form in bumpers, including when 3rd to subsequent Cheltenham festival winner Sir Gerhard on his 3rd start, beaten 13-lengths and was last seen finishing 3rd in a Limerick bumper last march.

Sold out of Terence O’Brien’s yard he will make his debut for David Pipe at a track where the yard has a 33% strike rate. He has had a wind operation in the interim period and if he can match the level of form that he showed in Bumpers, he should be competitive on these terms.

2:50 Leicester – Applesandpierres

This will be a 41st start under rules for APPLESANDPIERRES and whilst he has mainly been racing in France in recent times, his record at Leicester currently stands at 1,1,3 and he is of obvious interest in a race of this nature.

He finished 3rd here in a similar contest last week, when he chased home 2 progressive and significantly younger rivals. Sophie Leech has turned out her 14-year-old quickly, but this looks like a very winnable opportunity on the same mark of 102 and he arrives in much better form than the majority of his 8 rivals do.

He won this race in 2020 on a mark of 121, which followed up from a similar run at Taunton just 11-days before and if he can repeat the dose, he must go close with just 10-5 on his back.

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