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Selections Weds 23rd March

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5:40 Ludlow – Bletchley Castle

On paper, this isn’t the deepest renewal of the Ludlow Gold Cup Hunters’ Chase and that could leave the race open to BLETCHLEY CASTLE. Ridden by leading amateur James King, he finished 2nd over this course on his last start behind Pont Aven on 9th February. The winner ran well for a long way in the Hunters Chase at the Cheltenham festival, eventually finishing 6th, which certainly boosted the form and none of his 6-rivals look capable of producing that level of form. Bletchley Castle likes to race prominently, so the drop back in trip shouldn’t cause any real concern and he should be able to go one better than when 2nd in this contest 12-months ago.

3:20 Haydock – Sweet Gap

Only 3 go to post for this Novices’ hurdle, but with doubts over the 2 previous winners, SWEET GAP makes some appeal in what is likely to be a tactical affair. Letthetruthbeknown was a good winner at Uttoxeter in December but didn’t build on that when well beaten at Catterick and the fact that he is running here with a 7lb claimer on top, rather than in a handicap could suggest that connections feel a mark of 120 is quite harsh. Similarly, Nora the Xplorer failed to uphold the form of her win at Sedgefield in January when 2nd last time out and although the McCain yard continue to be in form, the step up in trip and the application of cheekpieces leave some doubt. As a 4-year-old, Sweet Gap receives weight from both rivals and given that her dam Jaunty Flight was a dour stayer, there is every reason to believe that 3-miles should suit perfectly. 5th on debut at Wetherby, when she was ridden in an educational fashion in rear, she should give a much better showing on her 2nd start and could find the race run to suit.

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