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Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Ex-pointer can make a mockery of opening mark for Williams

Charlie Appleby: runs Espadrille at Kempton
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Swift Crusador 2.00 Chepstow 

Swift Crusador has had just one start under rules, but he has undoubted potential and, if primed to go first time up, he could make a mockery of an opening mark off 122 for his chasing debut.

Evan Williams’ charge travelled well at Ffos Las in March and, although fortunate to win, he suggested there could be plenty more to come when he tackled a fence.

The six-year-old finished second to the smart De Dollar Man in an Irish point-to-point and the latter is now rated 139, while it bodes well that Williams has chosen to enter him in a competitive handicap for his first chase start rather than a small-field novice..

Any rain will be a plus as all five of his starts have come on testing ground.

Ebitda 3.20 Nottingham

The improving Ebitda has won four of her last five starts over the minimum trip and, kept to the same Class 6 grade, she looks tough to topple under a 6lb penalty.

Scott Dixon’s three-year-old started life in handicaps off a mark of just 46 but has progressed as the season has developed and her latest success at Catterick only last week was a career-best off 67.

Despite being drawn wide in stall 12, the daughter of Compton Place travelled ominously well and put six lengths on her rivals in a matter of strides.

Ebitda has won three times from as many starts when ‘soft’ has featured in the going description and her latest performance suggests there could be plenty left in the tank, particularly with the deep ground at Colwick Park expected to play to her strengths.

Dixon’s filly looks a cut above this opposition and, with three of her victims reopposing, she should go in again, with Jamie Gormley’s 5lb claim reducing a hefty weight.

Espadrille 4.40 Kempton

Espadrille created a favourable impression on her first start at Nottingham last month and can show how much she has learned from that by shedding the maiden tag on her second start.

The daughter of Dubawi was clueless in the early exchanges and still found herself last of a 14-strong field with just over two furlongs to run.

However, Charlie Appleby’s filly picked up well and closed to within eight lengths of winner and stablemate Hadith, who showed just how much a juvenile can improve from their first run to their second.

Hadith has since scored at Listed level and Espadrille, who was sent off an unfancied 20-1 chance that day, would have been much closer than fifth with more knowhow.

Rasima 5.10 Kempton

This is a slightly more competitive maiden than the earlier division and the twice-raced Rasima could offer some value on her return to Kempton.

Roger Varian’s filly was disappointing when third behind the subsequent Rockfel winner Juliet Foxtrot on wet ground at Goodwood on her latest start, but she stuck on under pressure and is worth another chance judged on her debut run.

She had been posted wide on that first start at this track but made eyecatching late headway, suggesting the step up to a mile is a plus.

The first three home set a fair standard and had experience under their belt, while the fourth, Cavatina, has since opened her account.

The reopposing Sharp Reminder finished a place behind Rasmina but looked straighter and has her work cut out to overturn the form, while Fleeting Freedom and Heather Lark look exposed.

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She had been posted wide on that first start at this track but made eyecatching late headway
E.W. Terms
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