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Applause set to make it a double.

MICK Easterby can toast back-to-back victories with Rapid Applause when he goes for gold at Musselburgh.

The Sheriff Hutton handler was caught unawares by the six-year-old at Beverley last week when he absolutely bolted up in a five-furlong handicap.

Easterby did not expect Rapid Applause to win on the Westwood, but win he did as the former Irish resident stormed home by nearly two lengths.

The manner in which that race was competed aided Rapid Applause in no uncertain terms, but perhaps more compelling was the fact jockey Nathan Evans never once needed to get serious.

Rapid Applause must shoulder a 6lb penalty in this fivefurlong handicap, but that still gives him the look of a very well treated horse as he was rated as highly as 110 in what has so far been a nomadic career.

Gilded Hour looks interesting in the seven-furlong fillies' handicap at Chepstow.

Ralph Beckett's three-year-old makes her handicap debut on a mark of 76, but she might be a wee bit better than that.

After all, she showed flashes of ability as a juvenile, having finished in the money at Kempton and at Doncaster, and was hardly disgraced at the first-named venue upon her return to the fray.

Gilded Hour was beaten four lengths into third in a sevenfurlong novice stakes on April 18, but that was a pretty hot affair as the winner, Il Primo Sole, looks sharp for the John Gosden team.

And with runner-up Major Partnership, who was considered good enough to be given an entry in the Dante, no slouch, either, Gilded Hour's performance deserves to be upgraded.

She was also too keen for her own good at Kempton, so jockey Oisin Murphy will be desperate to get her nice and relaxed in what is a weaker race. Arctic Sea can be trusted to run with purpose in a onemile handicap at Lingfield. Paul Cole's inmate has been in fair form this year, but he has not quite convinced that he is at his best over a mile and a quarter.

Easterby A return to running over this shorter distance, over which he has won twice, might just do for him.

Photographer is an intriguing runner for Gosden in the 10-furlong novice stakes at Newcastle. Winner of his only start as a juvenile, this halfbrother to Coronet holds entries in the Dante and the Derby.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 4, 2018
Words:395
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