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Sheppard can roll the Dice at Paxford

26-March-2024 16:42
in General
by Andrew King
Paxford hosts the ever-popular North Cotswold meeting on Bank Holiday Monday (April 1st) where a six race card and 79 entries awaits racegoers with a scheduled first race off-time of 1pm.
Not surprisingly given the recent weather, the ground conditions are ' soft and good to soft in places ' at the time of writing and not likely to change that much come raceday.
Although Hidor De Bersy has not been seen since scoring in impressive fashion at Chaddesley Corbett back in December, he certainly catches the eye in the Mixed Open over 2m 4f.
Jo Priest's charge had a good class field spread out like washing on a Monday morning when recording that victory in the hands of owner Vicki Sollit and the contours of Paxford should suit his style of racing.
The Gina Ellis-trained Bawnmore may give the selection most to think about as he boasts useful form when completing. If the onus is on stamina in testing conditions following further rain that will suit as he stays very well.
The Nicky Sheppard team are riding the crest of a wave at present and No Dice can add to the yard's purple patch by playing a leading role in the Intermediate contest with regular rider Milo Herbert in the saddle. Any easing in ground conditions will not hinder the seven-year-old's chance and it might slow the opposition down when push comes to shove in the closing stages. Champagne Glory would be a threat if lining up.
Chenery, owned and trained by Harry Stock, landed the opening Members contest last year and looks to have been primed to follow up this time around. After a no-show at Cocklebarrow on his seasonal debut, the gelding ran much better next time when runner-up at Bangor-On-Dee and this race appears to have been the plan all along.
Hung Jury would rate a big danger if he is in the right frame of mind but he was beaten quite a way out at Larkhill (albeit in Open class) and that race was only just over a week ago.
Soldier Unknown, making his debut for Alan Hill, is something of a dark horse in the Maiden for 5yo&up. He was not without some ability in Ireland and it would be no surprise to see him improve for current connections.
The Sophie Pauling-trained Sforza Castle was beaten a long way by Glenmount at Badbury Rings but the winner has franked the form since and he has to be respected if taking up this option.
Hill and jockey Izzie Marshall have a squeak of doubling up in the Restricted with Serenisa, who has shaped like there is modest affair such as this within her compass.
The concluding Conditions contest has a fairly competitive look about it and could see Muckamore and Striking Out (first and third at Horseheath last time) locking horns again.
The last named was reportedly too far out of his ground on that occasion  and it may well be much tighter this time around. While Farrants Way is also in the equation.

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4m SE Cheltenham, nr junction of A40 and A436 (Exit 11A, M5)


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