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Nottingham Preview: Gaze can Raise his game to score again

Trainer Clive Cox has a terrific strike rate at Nottingham and Raise Your Gaze can further enhance it with victory in the 1m 2f handicap there today (3.45).

The Newmarket handler has been successful with 38% of his raiders at the Midlands’ venue in the past 12 months, saddling eight winners and seven placed horses from 21 runners.

In Raise Your Gaze he has a progressive handicapper who got off the mark with a runaway six length success in a 1m 2f contest at Sandown back in July off a mark of 77, and followed up that effort with a solid third at Ascot off 10lb higher.

Things then didn’t go to plan in Raise Your Gaze’s next two starts, but the three-year-old bounced back to form in no uncertain fashion when running out an impressive winner at Sandown last month.

The son of Mastercraftsman overcame trouble in-running and showed a smart turn of foot to put the race to bed in a matter of strides and beat Beakers N Num Nums by a two lengths in what looked a decent contest.

Although now 6lb higher in the weights, the manner of that success suggested that Raise Your Gaze had more to offer and needed keeping firmly onside.

Arctic Feeling is in terrific form at present and can take advantage of a drop in grade to land the 6f handicap (4.50)

The Richard Fahey trained gelding has won two of his last five starts, and was particularly impressive in the last of those when slamming Huntsmans Close by 3 3/4 lengths at Epsom.

The six-year-old followed that up with a cracking fourth of 20 to Watchable at the Curragh when not getting the clearest of runs and staying on strongly to go down by just 2 1/4 lengths.

The son of Camacho also ran a blinder last time out from an unfavoured low draw in the class 2 Ayr Silver Cup when seventh of 26 to Huntsmans Close, and the drop down into class 3 company gives Artic Feeling an excellent chance of getting back on the score-sheet.

In the 5f handicap (5.20), Sleepy Blue Ocean looks weighted to take all the beating.

The John Balding trained gelding is 5lb lower than when scoring on the fibresand at Southwell back in January, and on the same mark than when last winning on the turf.

The eight-year-old also shaped really well last time out when fifth of 20 to Expose at Doncaster in a competitive class 4 affair, and now gets into this easier class 5 contest off 1lb lower.

Selections:
2.10: Just Us Two
2.40: Scots Fern
3.10: Philba
3.45: Raise Your Gaze (NAP)
4.20: Unforgiving Minute
4.50: Arctic Feeling (NB)
5.20: Sleepy Blue Ocean