Sedgfield is the venue for Sunday's attempt at the Placepot...
13:25- With Istimraar a non-runner following his exertions at Doncaster yesterday this seems a good opportunity for Aqalim, even acknowledging that he's looked hard work, coming here on the back of a laboured second at Wincanton. He deserves to make the permutation, but we'll also include recent Irish recruit Stilo Blue Native for a bit of insurance, just in case the likely favourite is not on a going day.
13:55- It would be little surprise to see fairly useful bumper performer Fly Home Harry take these rivals apart on his handicap debut, but there are safer propositions for Placepot purposes, notably Walser, who is going through a good spell at present, and Turtle Cask, who ran his best race yet when finishing second on New Year's Day and could have expected a heftier rise in the weights. We'll rely on that duo to help us progress to the third leg.
14:25- Master Rajeem lost his way over hurdles last season for Nigel Twiston-Davies but he has taken well to fences for this yard, winning over C&D earlier this month before following up with a respectable second under a penalty at Fakenham. He's in better form than many of his rivals and ought to give his running, so we'll bank on him in the Placepot.
15:00- The unexposed Beatabout The Bush won nicely last time on handicap debut despite things not going smoothly (was hampered on a couple of occasions) and he should stay ahead of the handicapper for a while yet, a 10 lb rise unlikely to stop him in his tracks. He hasn't been long with his current yard and there's more to come.
15:35- The handicapper may have Riskier where he wants him, but John Wade's ten-year-old is in tremendous heart at present, finishing placed on his four latest outings, and another bold bid looks to be on the cards. We'll also include Shadrack as, though he looks high enough in the weights, it's difficult to knock his recent efforts, and he's impressed with his consistency.
16:05- Astaroland produced his best performance yet when finishing runner-up at Leicester last time, and he could yet have a bit more to offer, mindful that his yard are going better now than they have been for most of Astaroland's career. He is less exposed than many of these and should be capable of getting off the mark.
13:25- 1, 6
13:55- 1, 8
15:35- 6, 9
= 8 lines