SIX DECLARED FOR SEDGEFIELD.
With the ground finally easing we are able to send out more runners, and there will be a team of six making their way up to Sedgefield on Friday, where the going at the time of writing is good to soft, soft in places.
Desaray Girl is now eligible for 0-110 company, but with her being rated 112 it means she has been allotted 12 stone and 7lb, which will be partly offset by Emma Smith-Chaston being able to claim 7lb. The race is at 12.35.pm, over the extended two miles and three furlongs, a handicap hurdle for mares only. On her 2019 form, Desaray Girl who is a Listed winner would not be troubled in this company, and on her seasonal debut at Wetherby 20 days ago in a better race than this, on her first start in seven months she didn't weaken until just before the last flight.
We are doubly represented at 1.05.pm, in the 0-105 handicap hurdle over the extended two miles where the ex French Balkotic who is a five year old gelding makes his stable debut with Jack Hogan taking the ride. Balkotic has raced on nine occasions to date, six times on the flat, and three times over hurdles, with his one success to date coming on the flat over an extended one mile and seven furlongs at Craon in September 2020. He has been placed twice over hurdles, including his latest start in June when finishing third. It is very difficult to weigh up the merits of his French form but his opening mark of 100 looks fair.
Our other runner in the race is Getaway Jewel who has now ran four solid races at Sedgefield for us since arriving from Ireland a year last September. Getaway Jewel was hampered between the last two flights over this course and distance when last seen 22 days ago which may have cost him winning the race. Disappointingly the handicapper has raised him a further 2lb for his second place finish, but the one thing he does have on his side is consistency. Becky Smith who has been placed on him on two previous occasions, returns to the saddle.
Justforjames is just one month short of his 13th birthday and returns from his summer holidays to contest the 0-105 three miles and three furlongs handicap chase at 1.40.pm, with his regular jockey Becky Smith in the saddle. The handicapper eventually relented with Justforjames last season as his mark dropped from 124 to just 102, which was enough for him to get off the mark at Cartmel in May. Sedgefield is a particular favourite of Justforjames as he has won there on four previous occasions, and finished runner up there three times as well.
We welcome another new face when the ex French Bandit D'Ainay makes his debut for us at 2.50.pm, in the 0-120 handicap chase over two miles and five furlongs with Alian Cawley taking the ride. Bandit D'Ainay is a very experienced chaser with 41 runs over fences already behind him, of which he is a the winner of four of them. He was last seen at Compiegne back in June when finishing third. His opening British mark of 103 looks very workable.
Our final runner is Countess Olivia in the extended two miles bumper at 3.25.pm, with Becky Smith riding her for the first time. Countess Olivia is a flat bred, who has run once to date at Wetherby in December of last year when making no show in soft ground, over their extended one mile and four furlongs. She has two half brothers who are both flat winners, including the 101 RPR Nuits St Georges, who was a seven times winner.
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Good luck to the connections, Resdev, Phil Ellerby, Raypasha, J4J Partnership, The Golden Cuckoo, and John Sidebottom & Mrs Kate Sidebottom.