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EXOCET with trainer Chris Allsopp

Exocet and trainer Chris Allsopp: a winning combination tonight?


Exocet can fire in Sussex Cup final at Hove

EXOCET is nudging veteran status, but his Coral Sussex Cup campaign has confirmed there is plenty in the locker yet and Chris Allsopp’s dog should prove tough to beat despite facing high-quality opposition in the £10,000 final of the Category One over 515m at Hove tonight (9.19, live on Sky Sports 1).

He ran a blinder when a neck second to Guinness Spark in the heats, having just failed to make the bend, and confirmed the promise of that run with an all-the-way semi success in comfortably the fastest time of the round.

Trap six might be a wider draw than ideal for the middle seed, and two previous attempts from it here have garnered comments of very slowly away and badly left, but the presence of Bubbly Gold on his immediate inside suggests an untroubled path early providing he gets away reasonably.

Very strong over this distance these days, he will not be fazed should early pacers like Forest Gavin and Cathys Clown lead him into the back-straight and  can power through to take command by the third bend at the latest.

Although held on semi-final form, Hove specialist Jaytee Lightning clearly has to be respected but his draw outside Forest Gavin is tough to say the least.

Sidaz Pedro’s berth in three will be even harder to overcome while how strong-finishing ­Bubbly Gold avoids traffic ­problems is difficult to fathom but the race will certainly be a thriller if he does end up thereabouts.

First of the night’s finals is that of the £2,500 Coral Sprint ­Trophy over 285m at 7.49 in which popular perception seems to be that sole railer Southern Mesut has the best of the draw.

However, is anything well drawn when going from one in a Hove sprint? That is doubtful and Kevin Hutton’s Cheers Tony may be the answer on the basis that he can out-trap reigning champion Zenas Boy to take early command on the outside and prove stronger all-round than the powerful Liz McNair team.

The Dean Childs-trained Billys Bullet is perhaps ­better value than kennelmate ­Millwards Teddy in the £2,500 Coral Puppy Trophy final over 515m at 8.19, while Paul Young’s Silverview Rosay will surely be very tough to beat from the inside draw in the all-railer £2,500 Coral Ladies Trophy final over 515m at 8.49.

Sky Sports viewers will have to make do with a recording of Farloe Tango’s appearance in the 7.19 over 740m although it is live in betting shops via SIS.

Charlie Lister’s charismatic superstar is hardly a betting proposition and comes into the contest on the back of odds-on defeat in a Wimbledon final at the weekend, but it will be a surprise if he does not end up on the podium over a trip which will be ideal for him.

Paul Young’s Underground Paul can regain the winning thread himself in the first of the live Sky opens, a 515m ­contest at 7.34, while kennelmate ­Millwards Master looks good in the 8.34 over 695m.

Other televised fancies are Gemma Davidson’s Razldazl Butch in the Jimmy Jupp National Hurdle over 515m hurdles at 8.04 – where he can ­complete a hat-trick – and ­Spencer Mavrias’s Fatice Cream in the 9.04 over 930m.

Farloe Tango apart, there are three other early non-Sky opens with suggestions being Cluxtons Free (6.28), Hoof It Katie (6.48) and Guinness Spark (7.04).

Open Check nap
Cheers Tony
7.49 Hove