Baryshnikov makes his way for home at Chester
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King Of Tonga has been a revelation for the Notebook and landed a gamble in the 5f handicap at Chester at the weekend. Well drawn in stall five and wearing first-time cheekpieces, Declan Carroll's speedy six-year-old was nudged along when prominent two-out.

Ridden to lead inside the final furlong, he needed only to be pushed out to go clear.

This sprinter is thriving and probably still ahead of the assessor, especially if the headgear keeps working. A reformed performer since switching to shorter trips after joining Carroll, he will be very hard to beat over the same distance at Beverley on Saturday.

Thundering also landed some fabulous bets for the Notebook when making a winning handicap debut at Newcastle on Thursday.

Kevin Ryan's three-year-old gelding dwelt at the start but made headway over two-out. He was ridden before the furlong pole and kept on well and probably defy a rise in the weights. This 180,000 guineas half-brother to six winners looks sure to progress.

Look out for a big run from fellow Notebook horse Le Beau Garcon when stepping up to 6f at Newmarket on Thursday. Connections consider the progressive and willing three-year-old well handicapped off 83, as David Easterby told me recently: "We want to have a crack at a good prize with him to make the most of his rating."

A winner of novices at Redcar and Beverley last term, the step up in trip has always been expected to bring more improvement. Paul Mulrennan told me after the latter success: "There is much more to come from this horse."

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Tropez Power ran a mighty race when caught close home in the 1m handicap at Doncaster on Friday. Richard Hannon's three-year-old, who was racing against his own generation, was keen and held up behind the leaders before making headway over two-out.

Challenged inside the final furlong, the well bred son of Cotai Glory kept on but was just beaten by well fancied Nietzsche's Star. The runner-up deserves reward for his consistency and could win when settling better.

Orbaan deserves a change of luck and has options at Leicester on Saturday and Ayr on Sunday. David O'Meara's seven-year-old made up a huge amount of ground in the home straight in a 7f handicap at Epsom. True, he's on a long losing run but the gelding's recent close ninth at York, when repeatedly denied a clear run, suggested he is ready to win.

Beloved Notebook horse West Lawn is fancied to continue her progress in the 3m novices' handicap hurdle at Perth on Thursday. A winner for this column at 9/1 four outings ago, she won well (4/1) at Hexham last time and good ground would increase confidence.

Ridden quietly by John Dawson that day, she passed rivals in the final three furlongs and showed strong battling qualities to win by a neck. She's gone up 3lb to 88 but connections reckon this mare can run to a mark above 100, granted optimum conditions.

The consistent Big Difference runs for the first time since joining Tim Reed from Ben Pauling. He's dropping in grade in the 3m handicap chase and has been treated for a kissing spine.

Finally, on the same card, recent Cartmel & Hexham chase winner Saint Arvans should go very well in the 2m4f novices' limited handicap chase.



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