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Ffos Las Preview: It all adds up to Alphabet Bay

Trainer Warren Greatrex is having his best season ever, and Alphabet Bay can provide him with another success on handicap debut in the 2m 4f hurdle contest on this evening’s seven-raced card at Ffos Las (17:35).

The gelding looked a smart prospect when winning a bumper on his debut at Worcester, drawing clear to score by five lengths on good-to-firm ground.

Alphabet Bay has since had four starts over hurdles, and looked a work in progress who would come into his own when tackling handicaps and having his stamina drawn out.

The five-year-old shaped with plenty of promise when fifth of 11 to the very useful Glingerburn in a 2m 1f contest at Doncaster, leading until three from home before weakening and being allowed to come home in his own time to be beaten 23 lengths.

The form of the race is strong, as the winner is now rated 149 and the runner-up and third home have official ratings of 135 and 132.

It makes Alphabet Bay’s opening handicap mark of 108 look exploitable, and the son of Kalanisi has since been far from disgraced in finishing fourth in novice hurdles at Carlisle and Newbury on soft ground when tenderly handled.

The return to quicker ground should suit judged on Alphabet Bay’s bumper success, and another plus is that Greatrex has a strike rate of 40 per cent with his runners at the venue in the past 12 months.

Kassis scored with tons in hand last time out and can make light of a 6lb rise in the weights to follow-up in the 2m handicap hurdle (19:05).

The Jamie Snowdon trained mare was always travelling well in the 2m 1f contest at Chepstow and, after taking up the running at the second last, shot clear to win easing down by four lengths.

It was an effort which suggested the six-year-old was miles ahead of the assessor and needed keeping firmly onside, and this looks a weaker contest.

Kassis also remains unexposed and open to bags more improvement after just four runs for Snowden, and this looks a glorious opportunity for the daughter of Kalanisi to go in again.

Selections:
17.00: Jack Frost
17.30: Murtys Delight
18.05: Favoured Nation
18.35: Highpower
19.05: Kassis (NB)
19.35: Alphabet Bay (NAP)
20.05: King Kayf