Sedgefield Placepot: Sunday January 26

Conditions are set to be very testing at Sedgefield
Conditions are set to be very testing at Sedgefield

A small-stakes perm at Sedgefield makes sense given the testing conditions that prevail...

"This looks a really good opportunity for Tranquil Sea, who made an encouraging debut for the in-form Greatrex yard last month..."

13:10 - With a field of eight left and the favourite having no experience over hurdles, this is potentially a good Placepot leg. Current second-favourite Masquerade had bumper form equivalent to market leader Great Choice and made an encouraging debut over timber when winning at Bangor last month. Both the second and third that day have won since, so we can have a fair amount of faith in the form.

13:40 - There's an element of risk whichever route we take in this novice chase. On balance, a banker on hot favourite Swatow Typhoon is the best option. The danger is that this lazy sort will one day turn it in, yet his winning record to date is a good one while this longer trip on testing ground should give him plenty of time to warm to his task.

14:10 - There's little prospect of a banker in this leg, though the two that are most appealing here are unlikely to carry a huge proportion of the pool. Forty Crown has a good record on heavy ground and has given his running more often than not over hurdles, to which he returns after a couple of stutters over fences. Sam Lord sports a Timeform squiggle beside his rating but has scarcely run a bad race this winter and he too fares especially well on testing ground.

14:45 - This looks a really good opportunity for Tranquil Sea, who made an encouraging debut for the in-form Greatrex yard last month and drops to a much less competitive race this time. His handicap mark is enticing and, with nothing else making anything like the same appeal, Tranquil Sea goes in alone.

15:20 - This race lacks depth, but then again there isn't quite enough going for the well-treated Willie Hall to make him a banker. We're choosing to back him up with Indigo Island, who is unexposed and left the impression over further last time that there's more to come from him. Indigo Island is also one of the likelier candidates to take up the lead in a race without a confirmed pace-setter.

15:50 - Where Willie Hall didn't have quite enough in his favour, no such caveat applies to his stablemate Prince Blackthorn in this heat. His win last time has stood up better than expected and in the context of this lowly grade a 9-lb rise can hardly be deemed critical to him following up.

Selections:
13:10 - 2
13:40 - 1
14:10 - 2, 3
14:45 - 1
15:20 - 4, 6
15:50 - 6

= 4 lines  

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