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Nottingham preview: Queen’s Pearl poised to follow-up

Trainer Roger Varian has his team in terrific shape, and Queen’s Pearl looks a worthy favourite to provide him with another winner in the 6f handicap on today’s card at Nottingham (15.30).

The filly has won two of her six starts and shown progressive form in handicaps this season.

After finishing an eye-catching runner-up on her reappearance at Newmarket after dwelling at the start, Queen’s Pearl duly went one better to comfortably land a class 3 contest at the same venue off a mark of 80.

The daughter of Exceed And Excel showed plenty of pace to race up with the leaders and ran on strongly to score with more in hand than the winning margin of 1/2 a length suggests.

A 3lb rise in the weights for that success looks on a lenient side, especially as Queen’s Pearl now drops down into class 4 company.

Queen’s Pearl also looks the type that has plenty more to offer and, with William Buick in the saddle, this looks a golden opportunity for her to go in again.

Straight Arrow scored in tremendous style last time out, and can defy an 11lb rise in the weights to land the 1m handicap (16.30).

The Tim Jarvis trained gelding failed to trouble the judge in three starts in maidens, but ran well in the last of those and looked the type to do better when tackling handicaps.

That duly proved to be the case when Straight Arrow made a mockery of an opening mark of 54 to land an 11-runner contest at Wetherby by 1 1/2 lengths.

After being held-up at the rear by apprentice Patrick O’Donnell, Straight Arrow encountered all sorts of trouble in-running when trying to make a move two from home before quickening up smartly when seeing daylight to quickly put the race to bed.

It was a performance which suggested the three-year-old was way ahead of the assessor, and the son of Refuse To Bend looks the type who has a good deal more to offer.

Another plus is that Straight Arrow once again has the services of the highly promising Donnell in the saddle, who is terrific value for his 7lb claim, and everything points to a huge run.

Selections:
14.00: Andar
14.30: Alabaaly
15.00: Monasada
15.30: Queen’s Pearl (NAP)
16.00: Firgrove Bridge
16.30: Straight Arrow (NB)
17.00: Malimbi