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Byline: DAVE MITCHELL on two competitive handicaps

THIS has the makings of an old fashioned start to the Festival, but at least the ground should be pretty consistent with what we have been dealing with all season.

We have the two handicap chases to deal with beginning with the JLT Specialty Chase (2.40) which is a race younger horses with less than 11 stone on their backs dominate.

Of the 24 runners we can get rid of half the field on those stats, which helps matters.

You get the impression you want a horse you don't know everything about and in the cases of Fruity O'Rooney, Tenor Nivernais, Pete The Feat, Monkerty Tunkerty and Golden Chieftain that isn't the case.

Jumping and the form of the yard are a concern where Tour Des Champs is involved while unproven stamina puts you off Nuts N Bolts.

Loch Ba may have shown his hand too soon as he's 12lb higher than he was at Newbury, while Summery Justice simply doesn't look good enough.

So, the short list consists of Merry King, Poole Master and White Star Line and all three fit the trends.

Money came for Merry King yesterday and he's going ton get the trip well - maybe not fast enough though.

POOLE MASTER was shocking at Kelso, but that came in a small field and I like the fact he ran well in the Coral Cup last year. He usually travels well and loves going lefthanded, so have 2pts ew at 40-1 with Ladbrokes.

WHITE STAR LINE ran a cracker at the meeting last year and, given the fact Festival form holds up, is worth 2pts ew at 16-1 in places.

The Rewards4Racing Chase (5.15) is less of a 'plot' race with winning form the last time out being all-important.

SHANGANI ticks the right boxes for Venetia Williams (above) so have 2pts win at a general 8-1.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 12, 2013
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