The rain has continued to fall all week, so the expectation is for soft ground at the very least for Sedgefield on Sunday, which will not inconvenience our runners.
First up at 1.0.pm, in a 0-105 handicap hurdle over the extended two miles is the 30 raced maiden, under both codes, Burnage Boy, who will be ridden by Alain Cawley. Burnage Boy may remain a maiden but on two of his recent runs at Sedgefield, he has finished runner up, from a 3lb higher mark than now.
Late Date goes to post for the 2.38.pm, a 0-105 handicap hurdle over the stamina sapping three miles and three furlongs, where Jack Hogan who won on him at Catterick on New Years Day retains the ride. Late Date has run once since then, which was at Sedgefield 25 days ago when never getting competitive. He is still 5lb above that last winning mark, but will enjoy the going, and the trip.
We are doubly represented at 3.48.pm, in the 0-120 handicap hurdle over the extended two miles and three furlongs, where we have two of the seven runners. Perfect Man continues to struggle for form since arriving at the yard last spring, because of this his mark has slipped from 128 to 103. He is suited by a soft surface, but this trip would probably be a minimum, he will be partnered by Becky Smith, who has ridden him twice before.
Our other runner in the race is the ex French Le Grand Vert, who made his British and stable debut at Newcastle 33 days ago when finishing fourth of the five runners over two furlongs further than now. That day he was looking threatening until weakening quickly from two out, on what was his first start in over three months. The handicapper has dropped him 5lb, and Alain Cawley retains the ride.
We are also double handed in Sedgefield's finale at 4.23.pm, a 0-105 handicap chase over two miles and five furlongs, for conditional jockeys. Knocknamona cruised to victory at Newcastle in January, but couldn't replicate that performance up at Ayr 19 days ago, where once again conditions were in his favour. He will now race from a 7lb higher mark than Newcastle, which will be offset by Jack Hogan's claim, but it really depends which Knocknamona turns up.
Our other runner in the race is Shaws Bridge whose half brother Windsor Avenue runs on Saturday in the 'Premier Chase' at Kelso, on route to a tilt at the Grand National in April. Shaws Bridge jumped novicey on his chase debut at Musselburgh in November when finishing a well beaten fifth. At Catterick 20 days ago he was bang in touch when unseating at the fourth last, having raced keenly. His hurdles form suggests that his current mark of 102 is within his capabilities, Emma Smith-Chaston retains the ride.
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Good luck to the connections, JFW Properties Ltd, County Set Six & Partner, The Rat Pack Racing Club, Richard Howard & Ben Howard,
and Newroc & Co.