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Chepstow Preview: Golden opportunity for Verse Of Love

Verse Of Love can take advantage of an ease in grade to get back to winning ways in the 7f handicap at Chepstow today (4.20).

The David Evans trained gelding was last successful in a class 4 contest at Chester back in May when running on strongly to beat Grissom by 2 1/4 lengths off a mark of 82 despite stumbling badly and nearly unseating his rider at the start.

Since then the five-year-old has been plying his trade in higher grade contest, finishing third in a class 2 contest off 87 and an excellent third last time out at Leicester in a class 3 affair.

Verse Of Love looked an unlucky loser in the latter, losing ground with a slow start before encountering trouble in-running to be gaining all the way to the line and be beaten just 1/2 a length.

The son of Byron now gets into this lower grade class 4 contest off the same mark of 82, the same as when bolting up at Chester earlier in the year.

It makes Verse Of Love look handicapped to take all the beating, especially as he is due to go up 3lb in furure races.

Ickymasho has form to her name which suggests she could well have got in lightly on handicap her debut in the 6f nursery (3.20).

The filly has only had three starts and ran a cracker on the second of those when staying on well to finish a 3/4 length runner-up to Some Show at Windsor.

The winner went on to finish aneck runner-up to the now 82-rated Feeling Easy in class 4 nursery at Leicester, the third home Flashy Diva won next time up and is now rated 78 and the fourth home Mazoula landed a nursery at Wolverhampton in good style yesterday.

That suggests that the Jonathan Portman trained Ickymasho may well have got in lightly in this class 5 contest off an opening mark of just 66, and with the stable in good form a big run looks on the cards.

In the 1m 2f handicap (5.15), Guilded Spirit looks the answer now partnered by Richard Hughes for the first time.

The Stuart Kittow trained gelding was once rated as high as 72 is now running off a career-low rating of just 60.

That is 5lb lower than when scoring at Ffos Las last August and makes Guilded Spirit look dangerously well-treated if putting his best foot forward.

Hughes could well be the man to get the four-year-old to do just that, and the champion jockey looks a significant booking given that he has teamed up with the yard just three times in the past 12 months – winning one one occasion and finishing in the frame on the other two.

Selections:
2.20: Cymro
2.50: So Noble
3.20: Ickymasho (NB)
3.50: Desert Society
4.20: Verse Of Love (NAP)
4.50: Fractal
5.20: Guilded Spirit