Newland's Nikki Steel can bounce back to form at Ludlow
ARCHIMENTO (4.05) failed to win any of his first 14 starts, but the fitting of cheekpieces did the trick here last week as he stayed on strongly to get the better of Ashazuri.
He escapes a penalty as that came in an apprentice race and the extra two furlongs should help Philip Hide’s charge.
LORD CLENAGHCASTLE (3.35) ended last season with a couple of poor runs, but he has had a winter break to recharge the batteries and could bounce back in the mile handicap.
Gary Moore’s charge has never finished out of the frame in four visits to this track.
MANGO CHUTNEY (5.25) won twice last year and his recent return hinted he would win again soon.
He was given a patient ride from his wide draw but finished strongly and was only a head back at the line. This extra furlong can help him go one better.
ELYSIAN FLYER (3.55) looked ready to take advantage of a declining mark when returning to action at Ripon last month.
He couldn’t reel in Lydiate Lady but pulled clear of the also-rans and can go one better with Graham Lee replacing an apprentice.
EMERALD ROSE (3.45) has plenty in her favour in the Suffolk National.
Julian Smith’s 11-year-old scored a clear win at Market Rasen around this time last year and has produced three solid displays during a brief winter campaign on ground softer than ideal, most recently at Bangor where she plugged on for third behind two in-form rivals.
She has won two of four starts here and shapes as though she will enjoy the marathon trip.
ADMIRAL’S SECRET (7.20) had a patchy profile in his early career, but he has come good since a Christmas break and looks capable of completing a hat-trick in the 2m3f handicap chase.
Victor Dartnall’s gelding did just enough to deny Road To Rome at Ludlow in February and took another step forward at Bangor last month, winning more comfortably than the official margin of a length and a quarter would suggest.
NIKKI STEEL (8.00) was pulled up at Fakenham last time out but deserves another chance.
The Richard Newland-trained gelding was easily brushed aside that day, but it was quite a hot contest and it was no surprise that his lack of match practice told in the closing stages after a 584-day absence.
This is a big drop in grade and the assistance of decent amateur James King is also a positive.
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