Stratford top racing tip: Galice Macalo can rekindle hurdle success

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A very smart hurdler earlier in her career, Galice Macalo had raced exclusively over fences since December 2021 before returning to hurdles at Chepstow in January. The mare clearly enjoyed the transition because she romped away with a two-mile handicap, beating nine rivals by a clear 10 lengths on soft ground. Following that easy handicap win, she was highly-tried in Grade 2 company three weeks later, performing very creditably to finish fourth at Doncaster over an extended two miles. She was never likely to compete with the likes of the multiple Grade 1 winner Epatante and dual Listed winner Martello Sky, but she didn't finish far behind the latter, having tried to make every yard and only being headed on the run to the last. In finishing fourth, she was 7.5 lengths clear of Finest View, who won two Class 3 handicaps last season and who subsequently finished third in Class 2 company.

That Doncaster Grade 2 took place on good ground but Galice Macalo has produced her two career-best efforts on much more testing ground, including that previous outing at Chepstow a month earlier. She also has enjoyed previous success over this very trip, making all to beat a dozen rivals by 11 lengths in a Class 3 novices' during her first hurdling spell. She is a prominent racer who has recorded all four of her career wins by making either all or much of the running, so another bold display looks on the cards here. She won't have anything of the calibre of Epatante or Martello Sky to worry about in this Class 3 handicap company and, having previously been rated up to 134 over hurdles, she is still competitively handicapped off 130.

Next best bet: In This World

Elsewhere, Dan and Harry Skelton boast the best training and riding records at this track over the past five seasons (24 per cent and 31per cent respectively. Their representative, In This World, looked a very smart prospect when following up a flat win in France with an impressive bumper winner on stable debut at Warwick. He could turn out to be anything and has to be greatly respected, but he hasn't raced at all since that bumper in November 2021 and today's ground will be softer than for either of his two wins.

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