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Take Double to strike gold.

DOUBLE UP won as he liked on his return to action at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago and can live up to his name by striking gold once more at Nottingham.

Roger Varian's sprinter has a likeable profile, building on a debut victory at Lingfield in March of last year with three perfectly respectable placed efforts in handicaps.

He failed to fire on his final start as a three-year-old in August, but given time to recover from whatever was ailing him on that occasion, he looked much improved on his seasonal bow at Headquarters.

The handicapper has not taken too many chances, handing the unexposed gelding a 10lb hike, and he certainly faces a stiffer assignment in the Odds On Favourite DG Taxis 01159500500 Handicap against hardened campaigners like Borderlescott, Burning Thread and Judge 'n Jury.

However, while that trio hold no secrets from the assessor, Double Up is open to plenty of improvement and is a sprinter to keep onside on a sound surface.

William Haggas has his string in scintillating form at present, making Rive Gauche of major interest in the first division of the Merlin Inflatables UK Maiden Fillies' Stakes.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock was spotted making good late headway into fourth place in a backend maiden at Newmarket on her racecourse introduction and it is perhaps a measure of the regard in which she is held that she was thrown straight into Listed company on her return from a break at York earlier this month.

Having missed the break, she did fantastically well to be beaten less than two lengths and an ordinary maiden like this should be hers for the taking.

The John Gosden-trained Figment has shown more than enough in three starts to date to suggest she can take the second division in the hands of Frankie Dettori.

Benefit Cut and Buck Mulligan are a couple of decent chasers on their day, but they might struggle to give lumps of weight to the in-form Unknown Legend in the Tour of Britain Cycle Race 12th Sept Handicap Chase at Fakenham.

The eight-year-old bolted up over the course and distance back in early April and returns to the track at the top of his game having made the most of a lenient mark over hurdles in some style at Southwell almost a fortnight ago.

If he gets into a similarly dominant front-running role on his return to fences, he will take an awful lot of pegging back.

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Trainer Roger Varian

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 31, 2015
Words:418
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