We have six runners at Sedgefield over the jumps, where the going is currently described as heavy, and three on the Tapeta surface at Newcastle, which is currently riding standard to slow.
First up at Sedgefield at 11.55.am, is Justus in the extended two miles maiden hurdle, with Sean Bowen taking the ride. Justus who has been rated as high as 86 on the flat will probably need a longer trip in time, as he stays two miles on the level. This is his second start for us, as he continues his hurdling education.
Belle Na Bann goes to post for the 12.30,pm, in the extended two miles and three furlongs mares only 0-110 handicap hurdle, with Emma Smith-Chaston on board for the first time. Bell Na Bann will be running from 7lb out of the weights, but she has been placed from this mark on two previous occasions for us earlier on this year. She has been placed on soft ground, but is untried on heavy.
A Cheap Thrill continues to struggle to regain his best form, and that includes a return to hurdles on his last start at Carlisle 33 days ago. His mark continues to tumble, and he is now 16lb below the 100 he was at Cartmel back in July. The race is a 0-105 handicap hurdle, over the extended two miles, at 1.05.pm, with Emma Smith-Chaston taking the ride.
Ballylinch has finished first and second on his last two starts, which were both over this course and distance. He meets three of his old rivals from last time again here, including the winner, whom he now takes on again on 8lb better terms for the 12 lengths defeat. He runs at 1.40.pm, in the 0-100 handicap chase, over three miles and three furlongs, with Sean Quinlan on board for the first time.
Halpha Soleil had some very good bumper form when trained in France last season, and he has already hinted at ability over hurdles in his four starts for us back in the spring. This will be his first start back in over seven months, so he is entitled to need it. He runs at 2.15.pm, in a maiden hurdle, over the extended two miles and three furlongs, with Sean Bowen taking the ride.
Carrigeen Castle who was the winner of an Irish point to point back in February, made his stable debut for us at Kelso over hurdles 27 days ago, when weakening before two out, on his first start in seven months. This return to fences will be far more suitable, when he goes to post for the 0-100 handicap chase, over two miles and five furlongs, with Sean Quinlan taking the ride.
We also send three up to Newcastle, with Ring Fenced first up at 3.10.pm, in the 0-70 handicap, over the extended 12 furlongs, with Aiden Brookes retaining the ride. Ring Fenced has now run for us on four occasions since arriving from Newmarket in the autumn, and she has progressed on each occasion, as her mark continues to slip, and she is now 6lb below her last winning rating of 69.
Dragons Will Rise returns from injury having last been seen 17 months ago. He is the winner of eight of his 25 flat races, which saw his mark climb from a low of 52, to a high of 80. He will be given a chance to continue his career, but if he cannot do it anymore then he will receive a well earned retirement. He runs at 3.45.pm, in the 0-78 handicap, over one mile, with Aiden Brookes taking the mount.
Mayjority who is a half brother to his stablemate Storm Spirit, will make his stable debut for us at 4.15.pm, in the novices stakes, over a mile, with Jonny Peate taking the ride. Mayjority has had his fare share of injury problems, but has shown ability on at least a couple of his five starts as a two and three year old to date. We will know a lot more about him after this.
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Good luck to the connections, Ryder And Alex Sugden, Ms D Morley, S Dobson & Partner, The Rat Pack Racing Club, John Burnett, T I S Partnership, The Cheltenham Trail, Robin Hood & Little John, The Golden Cuckoo, and Keep The Faith Partnership.
Dragons Will Rise.