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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Fresh Bellshill can make up for Irish National heartache in Gold Cup

Bellshill (biege sleeves): went close in the Irish Grand National
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My Lord And Master 2.45 Epsom

John Gosden runs Crossed Baton in pursuit of a fourth straight win in the race and he should run well, but My Lord And Master looks a cracking each-way bet for William Haggas.

He bolted up in a good Nottingham maiden over 1m½f in November, showing dramatic improvement from his debut at the same track a month before.

The form of his win received a boost when the second, stablemate Young Rascal, ran out an easy winner of a good-looking Newbury maiden on Saturday.

My Lord And Master made all that day and it may be to his advantage if Danny Tudhope can dictate from the front again. He handles rain-softened ground so should have his ideal conditions.

Shabbah 3.20 Epsom

Shabbah ran very well on his first start for Joseph Tuite at Lingfield last month and should be backed with Ryan Moore booked to ride.

Formerly trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Shabbah rattled off a hat-trick as a three-year-old and was not beaten far in his bid for a four-timer in a very competitive handicap at Ascot, in which he had the 113-rated Dal Harraild just behind him.

He lost his form after that and could not get his head in front in four starts last season, although his final run was much better.

The change of scenery seems to have had a positive effect as Shabbah showed a great deal of promise at Lingfield last time. He attempted to make all over this trip but a lack of fitness told as he was swamped close home, finishing sixth.

That should bring him forward for this and he could be well handicapped off 86.

Dash Of Spice 3.55 Epsom

Dash Of Spice is the least experienced in this field, but that should not stop him and he is fancied to go well on his seasonal debut for David Elsworth and Silvestre de Sousa.

The four-year-old Teofilo colt has had only three starts, with his best effort coming when not beaten far in second in a course-and-distance maiden won by Ajman King, who won next time out and is now 10lb worse off here.

Dash Of Spice landed his maiden in good style on the all-weather in December and the confidence gained from that should stand him in good stead now.

He is closely related to his trainer’s Group 1 winner Arabian Queen, receives plenty of weight from all of his rivals and is ridden by the leading jockey at Epsom.

Bellshill 5.30 Punchestown

Bellshill ran an excellent race in the Irish National under a big weight and may well have won if he had jumped the last straight.

Willie Mullins has kept him back for an end-of-season campaign and he comes here fresher than most.

Bellshill has won three of just six chase starts and has ample room to improve on what he has achieved so far.

He has won two Grade 1 races at the Punchestown Festival and clearly has an affinity for this track, while the ground should have enough ease in it to suit. He could be very hard to beat.


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