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Bentley can cruise to more success

Bentley evidently enjoys a trip to Southwell and he can make short shrift of a 6lb penalty at the Nottinghamshire venue today.

The Brian Baugh-trained seven-year-old revelled in a course-and-distance cakewalk in December and should really be following up in the Visit Southwell Handicap.

Bentley successfully mixed it up on the Polytrack and Fibresand in 2010, and certainly looked a great deal better than his 58 rating in December.

As such, the burden of top weight here might not be as big an issue as some have suggested.

The Piccolo gelding may have been in top trim this winter, but he really stepped things up a notch or two without the use of blinkers last time.

Baugh has again discarded the headgear, while also recalling the services of Graham Gibbons, who gets on very well with the horse.

This does not look as good a handicap as in December and it would be surprising if he does not travel with customary fluency, such is his well-being.

Albertus Pictor, meanwhile, can atone for his defeat at Lingfield when he lines up at Wolverhampton.

Sir Mark Prescott's four-year-old grey was a ready winner over an inadequate trip in November and was sent off at short odds upon his return to Surrey.

It all went awry, however, as he was hamstrung by a crawling pace and muddling tactics, eventually coming home third from a pretty desperate position.

Stevie Donohoe is unlikely to make such a mistake though, and can be expected to utilise every drop of Albertus Pictor's stamina if a similar situation arises.

Competing off the same mark at Dunstall Park, he looks to have a great chance in the Handicap.

Belfast Telegraph


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