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Bath preview: Dovil’s Duel weighted to deliver

Dovil’s Duel is back down to a handy mark and can score an overdue success in the 5f handicap on today’s eight-race card at Bath (15.10) now eased in grade.

The Rod Millman trained gelding is on a long losing run, having not scored since landing back-to-back contests at Leicester and Lingfield in the summer of 2013.

In the last of those successes the son of Clodvil scored easily by 2 1/2 lengths off a mark of 65 in a class 6 affair, and Dovil’s Duel then ran just three times in 2014 before enduring a lengthy 394 days on the sidelines through injury.

The four-year-old not surprisingly shaped as if needing his first three runs this season, but Dovil’s Duel posted a much improved effort on his penultimate start when a two length third to Archie Rice in a class 5 contest at Newbury off a mark of 64.

Dovil’s Duel was also far from disgraced last time out in a similar grade affair at Salisbury, and now gets into this lower class 6 contest off 62.

That is 3lb lower than when last successful in the grade, and gives Dovil’s Duel a big chance from a handicapping perspective if building on his last two runs.

Trainer Malcolm Saunders does well with his runners at the venue, and the in-form Pixeleen can provide him with another winner in the other 5f handicap on the card (16.10).

The filly has taken her form to a new level of late, showing a game attitude to score by a neck at Salisbury off a mark of 65 before going down by just a head at Chepstow last time out off 5lb higher.

Although now a further 3lb higher in the weights and running off a career-high rating of 73, the three-year-old is clearly thriving and may well have more to offer.

This also doesn’t look the strongest of class 5 contests, and Pixeleen goes particularly well for Cathy Gannon who is once again in the saddle.

Gannon has a decent strike rate when teaming up with the yard, and backing her on Saunders trained runners in the past 12 months would have produced a terrific profit of £44.50 to a £1 level stake.

Selections:
14.10: West Sussex
14.40: Hoorayforhollywood
15.10: Dovil’s Duel (NAP)
15.40: Sixties Sue
16.10: Pixeleen (NB)
16.40: Strictly The One
17.10: Almoqatel
17.40: St Paul’s Square