FOUR DECLARED FOR SEDGEFIELD, AND ONE FOR SOUTHWELL, ON THURSDAY.
The going for the national hunt horses continues to be very testing, where it looks like soft ground, heavy in places for Sedgefield on Thursday.
The first of our four runners at the track is Late Date in the 0-100 three miles and two furlong handicap chase at 2.42.pm, with Alain Cawley taking the ride.Late Date has everything in his favour, as he is a three times course and distance winner, and revels in this ground, but he hasn't been in good form the last twice, pulling up at Sedgefield, and most recently also pulling up at Southwell, he is now 6lb below his last winning mark from November 2019.
Marvellous Joe will make his chase debut at 3.42.pm, in the 0-105 novice handicap chase from an opening mark of 80, with Alain Cawley riding him for the first time.Marvellous Joe has yet to show any ability in a bumper and four novice hurdle runs, hence his opening mark, and now we will see if fences can bring about any improvement.
Ciarabella is very lightly raced for an eight year old, with this being only her 11th start, she runs in the 0-100 three miles and three furlongs handicap hurdle at 4.15.pm, with Alain Cawley retaining the ride.Before joining us last summer she had shown next to nothing, so it was a pleasant surprise to see her finish third over fences at Cartmel in August. Unfortunately she failed to build on that at Hexham in December, and she now reverts to hurdles from a 4lb lower mark.
We run the ex French Penpal in the 5.15.pm, over an extended two miles, in a 0-120 handicap hurdle with Alain Cawley in the saddle. Penpal won a claiming hurdle at Pau in May of last year, and joined us over the summer.He needed his first run for us at Catterick in November, but showed a lot more in December at that track, when trying to make all in a novice hurdle under a penalty. He finished fifth, beaten by 11 lengths, and will have to pull out a bit more to defy a mark of 118.
Our other runner is The Retriever at Southwell, who runs in the 6.0.pm, a 0-60- handicap over seven furlongs, with Aiden Brookes once again in the saddle. Aiden is still looking for his first winner from just 10 rides to date, and came within a short head of breaking his duck on The Retriever over course and distance 16 days ago. The handicapper has seen fit to raise The Retriever 2lb for that effort, but he is proving to be a model of consistency at this track, winning last November, and finishing second on no less than five other occasions.
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Good luck to the connections, County Set Six & Partner, Joe Buzzeo & Partner, M H O G, The Golden Cuckoo, and RM&T Holdings Limited & Partners.