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AQUEDUCT (USA)
  1. ALL - View all races at this meeting
  2. R1 (17:45) - 1m 110y
  3. R2 (18:14) - 6f
  4. R3 (18:43) - 1m
  5. R4 (19:13) - 6f
  6. R5 (19:43) - 1m 110y
  7. R6 (20:13) - 6f
  8. R7 (20:43) - 6f
  9. R8 (21:13) - 6f
  10. R9 (21:43) - 6f
Fair Grounds (USA)
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  2. R1 (18:00) - 6f
  3. R2 (18:28) - 5f 110y
  4. R3 (18:56) - 1m
  5. R4 (19:25) - 1m
  6. R5 (19:56) - 6f
  7. R6 (20:26) - 5f 110y
  8. R7 (20:55) - 1m 110y
  9. R8 (21:25) - 1m
  10. R9 (21:55) - 5f 110y
HIALEAH PARK (USA)
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  2. R1 (17:35) - 4f 120y
  3. R2 (18:05) - 1f
  4. R3 (18:35) - 1f
  5. R4 (19:05) - 1f 130y
  6. R5 (19:35) - 1f 30y
  7. R6 (20:05) - 2f
  8. R7 (20:35) - 1f 30y
  9. R8 (21:05) - 1f 80y
  10. R9 (21:35) - 1f 80y
Louisiana Downs (USA)
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  2. R1 (19:00) - 1f 110y
  3. R2 (19:24) - 1f 180y
  4. R3 (19:48) - 3f 210y
  5. R4 (20:12) - 1f 130y
  6. R5 (20:36) - 1f 30y
  7. R6 (21:00) - 1f 80y
  8. R7 (21:24) - 1f 110y
Philadelphia Park (USA)
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  2. R1 (17:26) - 1m 70y
  3. R2 (17:53) - 6f
  4. R3 (18:19) - 7f
  5. R4 (18:47) - 6f
  6. R5 (19:13) - 6f
  7. R6 (19:41) - 6f
  8. R7 (20:07) - 6f 110y
  9. R8 (20:34) - 1m
  10. R9 (21:01) - 7f
  11. R10 (21:30) - 5f 110y
Sunland Park (USA)
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  2. R1 (19:15) - 2f
  3. R2 (19:39) - 1f 80y
  4. R3 (20:03) - 1f 130y
  5. R4 (20:27) - 3f 210y
  6. R5 (20:51) - 4f 120y
  7. R6 (21:15) - 5f 110y
  8. R7 (21:39) - 6f
  9. R8 (22:03) - 5f 110y
  10. R9 (22:27) - 5f 110y
  11. R10 (22:51) - 1m
Tampa Bay Downs (USA)
  1. ALL - View all races at this meeting
  2. R1 (17:25) - 7f
  3. R2 (17:54) - 1m 110y
  4. R3 (18:23) - 7f
  5. R4 (18:53) - 6f 110y
  6. R5 (19:20) - 1m
  7. R6 (19:50) - 7f
  8. R7 (20:20) - 1m 110y
  9. R8 (20:50) - 6f
  10. R9 (21:20) - 1m

Ante-Post Focus
31 Jan 2015

The Heroes Handicap Hurdle has been won by some decent sorts over the years so it's good news the race looks set to beat the weather after three consecutive abandonments.

The last time it went ahead Ante Post Focus landed a bit of a touch with Kilcrea Kim and I'm hoping POLAMCO can enable us to pick up where we left off in 2011.

Harry Fry's quietly progressive novice remains ahead of the handicapper after going up just 4lb for his latest victory at Newbury as he was value for a fair bit more than the winning margin of a neck might ordinarily suggest.

The gelding raced freely at the head of affairs that day and looked sure to be reeled in up the long home straight, but somehow had enough in reserve to see off the persistent challenge of heavily backed favourite Morito Du Berlais.

Polamco showed admirable resolution to fight back after being headed at the last when most horses would have been backing out after pulling hard for so long, and those battling qualities are sure to stand him in good stead up the Sandown hill.

Hopefully he'll race with a little more restraint on Saturday but the Esher course often favours horses with a freewheeling style anyway - witness Rayvin Black's all-the-way success in the big two-mile handicap at the last meeting there.

Not surprisingly this 2m6f event, often run in soft ground, has been dominated by horses carrying less than 11 stone so that's another factor in his favour as he's likely to 'qualify' even if current topweight Silsol takes up his Ffos Las engagement instead.

If Paul Nicholls' 6yo stands his ground, Polamco will be on the 10st mark exactly, but if the weights do rise sharply the most he's likely to end up with is 10st 13lb as it's fairly safe to assume that one of the John Ferguson-trained pair will be declared.

That isn't the case with market leader Batavi, who will be fine if Silsol stays in but bumped up to at least 11st 4lb otherwise.

Apart from having gained plenty of hurdling experience in France, David Pipe's expensive Arqana purchase has a similar profile to the selection's and also likes to race off the front end.

He's won his last two races at Ascot and Wincanton like a horse going places fast and it's perhaps significant that both have been over this trip on right-handed tracks, making him an ideal candidate for this race irrespective of the potential weight issue.

However at three points bigger in most lists I would contend that Polamco offers the greater value, especially from an each-way perspective.

There has been money this week at big prices for Imperial Leader, who has to be respected on a couple of efforts around this time last year.

Nigel Twiston-Davies's gelding was regressive in the spring but on the plus side he's now a few pounds lower than when placed in good handicaps behind Irish Saint at Ascot and Fingal Bay at Exeter.

He hasn't been seen since since proving a disappointing favourite in lower grade at Market Rasen in May, which is an obvious worry, but did win first time out last season and is handicapped to run a big race if back to his best.



Gary provides regular ante-post updates on Twitter. His username is @horsetraderinfo.@horsetraderinfo

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