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Silk is capable of a Noble effort in Kempton race.

Byline: Saraband

NOBLE Silk can secure his place at next month's All Weather Championships Finals Day with victory in the last fast-track qualifier at Kempton.

The PS1 million raceday has added extra spice to the winter season and the Conditions Stakes over two miles gives the stayers a final chance to book their place on the feature card.

Noble Silk will be having a second shot at doing just that after finishing as runner-up behind Litigant at Lingfield earlier this month.

Having his first start since last August, Noble Silk was beaten just half a length by a horse who had the benefit of two winter runs and some decent French form in the book to boot.

While Noble Silk has run well fresh in the past, he just could not quite get there on what was only his second try over the two-mile trip.

Lucy Wadham must have been pleased with such a promising return and the outing should set him up nicely to defy a 1lb rise and steal the final golden ticket.

On what should be a good afternoon for the Newmarket trainer, Minstrels Gallery also holds an excellent chance in the BetVictor 6 Place Grand National Handicap.

He was a winner at Lingfield two weeks ago, strolling home by three lengths in what was probably only an average heat at best.

Minstrels Gallery has been put up 6lb for that success but he still appears to be reasonably well handicapped on the pick of his form, the son of Refuse To Bend rated as high as 87 back in spring 2012.

Dutiful Son can make it a hattrick for Jeremy Noseda in the 6 Places At Aintree At Handicap.

The four-year-old has not seen much racing so far but after opening his account at Kempton in December, he made a successful switch to handicap company when winning back at the track last month.

He defied a wide draw to triumph comfortably that day and, while the official margin was a length and a half, Dutiful Son looked reasonable value for the distance.

The handicapper did not let his efforts pass unnoticed but a 7lb rise might not be enough to arrest his progress just yet.

David Pipe can get Grand National week off to a winning start by sending out Count Danilo to victory in the George Digweed Sporting Agency Ltd. Novices' Hurdle at Plumpton.

The five-year-old looked a smart individual when winning by six lengths at Fakenham in December, galloping all the way to the line.

He looked likely to follow up at Haydock earlier this month too, until crashing out three flights from home when still travelling with ultimate ease.

This looks a nice event in which to rebuild his confidence.

Samson Collonges can make it four wins at Hexham as he returns to his favourite track for the Primary Websites Handicap Chase. Rebecca Menzies' charge has done all his winning at the Northumberland venue, most recently when landing a very average heat by just a neck earlier this month.

A subsequent 8lb rise looks a bit harsh but at least the track and conditions are in his favour.

SARABAND'S SELECTIONS HEXHAM: 2.10 Volcanic, 2.40 Robbers Roost, 3.10 Samson Collonges, 3.40 Be My Present, 4.10 Bollin Fiona, 4.40 Indigo Island, 5.10 Dreamisi, 5.40 Never Never.

KEMPTON: 2.30 Mr Greenspan, 3.00 Minstrels Gallery, 3.30 Lily Edge, 4.00 This Charming Man, 4.30 Dutiful Son, 5.00 Noble Silk (nap), 5.30 Manor Way. PLUMPTON: 2.20 Count Danilo, 2.50 Johnnys Legacy, 3.20 Coup De Grace, 3.50 Airmen's Friend, 4.20 Shine In Time, 4.50 Benny The Swinger, 5.20 Little Roxy.

Double: Noble Silk and Dutiful Son.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 31, 2014
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