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Long Cross the one to beat on handicap debut

Trainer John Gosden is in red-hot form at present and Long Cross can provide him with another winner on handicap debut in the 1m 2f contest at Doncaster today (3.45).

The colt shaped with bags of promise on his first start at Newamrket when running green before staying on late to finish a never nearer fourth of 11 to Saab Almanal, and then showed the beneift of that experience when running out an impressive winner of a nine-runner maiden at the same venue.

Long Cross showed plenty of pace to track the leaders in the latter, and after being produced to take up the running at the furlong marker showed nice turn of foot to readily beat Soviet Courage by 3/4 of a length.

The pair pulled 11 lengths clear of the third home, and the runner-up went on to bolt in by 13 lengths next time up in a maiden to give the form a solid look.
It was a performance which suggested Long Cross was a smart prospcet who could potentially be a pattern performer in the making, and an opening mark of 90 could seriously underestimate his ability.

Indeed, the son of Cape Cross has managed to sneak into this before a revised mark of 93 kicks-in so in effect is effectively 3lb “well-in” at the weights and appears to have been superbly placed by Gosden.

With the prospecct of plenty improvement assured, Long Cross looks a handicap blot and can take this before en route on to better things.

The one that may prove the biggest danger is the Luca Cumani trained Elhaame.

The gelding finished an excellent sixth of 18 to Arab Spring in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot on his second start this season, and after running well to finish third at Haydock got back to winning ways last time out at Newmarket with a comfortable 1 1/4 length success over Border Legend.

The son of Acclamation scored with a bit more up his sleeve than the winning margin suggests and a 4lb rise does not look harsh.

The drying ground is also in Elhaame’s favour, and with Andrea Atzeni in the saddle a huge run looks on the cards.