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MARKER (3.30) is fancied to follow up his impressive debut success over course and distance at Windsor today.

Toby Balding rarely has his two-year-olds buzzing first time out, but this speedily bred gelding was not hard-pressed to see off some useful-looking rivals.

The form of that race has since been boosted and Marker, closely related to several classy winners, can be expected to improve plenty for that run in the Windsor Royal Station Conditions Stakes.

Bryan Smart hit the headlines last week when sending out the winner of the Vodafone Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood, and the Lambourn trainer probably provides the main threat to Marker with Monsieur Bond.

Smart's youngster confirmed the promise of his racecourse debut with an impressive victory at Pontefract last time, the son of Danehill Dancer being eased down to score by five lengths from Beau Artiste.

That was just an ordinary contest and Monsieur Bond faces a step up here, but this progressive sort looks to be on the upgrade.

In the earlier 'An Exchange For The Better' Fillies' Handicap, Dryden House (3.00), who gained an overdue first win at Pontefract a fortnight ago, has the potential to defy top weight on her handicap debut.

The Michael Jarvis-trained filly had looked promising before flopping at Chepstow two outings ago, but proved that running was all wrong with her subsequent success.

Mick Channon's string is in top form and the West Ilsley trainer fields the main threat to Jarvis's runner with course-and-distance winner Fruit Of Glory over an extended mile.

Fruit Of Glory returned to her best after some below-par performances to beat Jazmeer by one and a quarter lengths here last month, and she has finished a good third on her two starts since so appears to be retaining her form well, despite three quick runs.

She merits an interest tomorrow. The manner in which she and the well-bred runner-up pulled clear of their rivals that day suggests the form is above-average, and she can prove the point here.

A mile on softish ground is a stern test for two-year-olds at this stage of the season, but Princess Shoka (2.30) has plenty of stamina in her pedigree and can confirm previous promise. She improved on her debut when third at Epsom last time, shaping as if this extra furlong would be right up her street.


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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2002
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