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The Punt Daily: Tom Collins with four to follow on Monday

Ed Walker: trainer of Akbar Shah
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BANKER

Akbar Shah (1.50 Lingfield)

Ed Walker's three-year-old receives plenty of weight from his elders and looks likely to get off the mark at the fifth time of asking. The son of Oasis Dream took his first two runs to come to hand but has run extremely well to fill the runner-up berth the last twice in races that have worked out well. On his penultimate run, Akbar Shah was held up miles off the pace but was only beaten two lengths by Rebel Streak, who subsequently finished second in a Class 2 Newmarket handicap, and was upwards of three lengths clear of the third-placed finisher. He bumped into subsequent winner Zip Along last time out when well backed and he looks well treated off a mark of 75 on his handicap debut.

GOOD THING

Special Mission(2.20 Lingfield)

Sir Mark Prescott is flying of late with 11 winners from his last 27 runners (41 per cent strike-rate) and although this three-year-old filly didn't make the expected improvement in her first start in handicap company last time at Redcar, she can make amends here and add to Prescott's record. She jumped awkwardly that day, was forced wide and didn't pick up when asked close home. The return to the all-weather is a definitely plus and this race isn't the toughest. It's notable she has an entry at Sandown in two days.

DARK HORSE

Dark Defender(4.30 Ayr)

Keith Dalgleish's five-year-old's recent form figures aren't very enticing but he's been running on unsuitably quick ground and his handicap mark has dropped to a very attractive mark – 2lb lower than his last victory. With recent rain about, Dark Defender gets more favourable conditions and should go close at a track he has won three times at in the past.

IRISH ANGLE

Viking Hoard(5.55 Galway)

Limini (7.40) is undoubtedly the banker of the first day of the Galway festival but is likely to be a very short price and consequently it may be worth getting stuck into Charles Byrnes' Viking Hoard earlier on the card. Although he's competing off a career-high mark, Byrnes can't stop training winners of late and he really impressed me when hacking up by 15 lengths at Killarney earlier in the month. He pulled quite hard but cleared away from his rivals when Kevin Brouder released the handbrake and won with his head in his chest. The third, Epsilon Indi, would have won a couple of days ago when falling at the last and the form of the race doesn't look too bad. This is a harder contest but he sneaks in at the bottom of the handicap and could still be improving.


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He looks well treated off a mark of 75 on his handicap debut
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