The going at Sedgefield at the time of writing for Tuesday is good, and there has been selective watering to maintain, while down at Southwell they have also been watering to maintain a good surface.
Merlin's Gold will make his juvenile hurdles debut at 1.35.pm, over the extended two miles, where he will be partnered by Connor O'Farrell. Merlin's Gold has run six times on the flat, with his penultimate run at Newcastle when he finished third being his only worthwhile piece of form to date. It is impossible to know how he will take to this new discipline, but I would imagine his time will come when contesting handicaps a little further down the line.
Onenightintown steps back up to two miles and five furlongs, the trip at which he achieved his only win to date three starts ago, which was in August at Market Rasen. He has since been to Sedgefield where he didn't appear over keen, coming home a reluctant third, and on his latest start which was at Hexham over the minimum trip three weeks ago he stayed on at one pace into another third placing. He goes to post for the 2.10.pm, a novices handicap chase, with Becky Smith back in the saddle.
Mac Suibhne runs in the £17,500 Go North Cab On Target Series Qualifier 0-110 handicap hurdle over the extended two miles and three furlongs at 3.55.pm, where he will be ridden by Aiden Macdonald who is having his first ride in public since his bad injury in March of last year, we all wish Aiden the very best on his return to the saddle. The 'Go North' series offers a tremendous boost for owners of horses of lesser ability to win a big prize, and also to possibly win the £30,000 final which is run at Kelso in February. Mac Suibhne made the perfect start when winning at Market Rasen on his stable debut back in July, and was possibly unlucky not to follow up at Worcester 11 days later, but his last two starts haven't been to that standard.
We also have a runner at Southwell where The Rutland Rebel will take his chance in the extended three miles 0-100 conditional jockeys handicap hurdle, where he will have the services of Jack Hogan for the first time. The Rutland Rebel is currently rated 91 over hurdles, and when that is compared to his mark of over 70 on the flat, it shows what a tempting mark he is on. He was a winner at Perth in July from a mark of 84, and has since finished runner up at the same venue off 89. The big factor for The Rutland Rebel is the ground, as the faster the surface the better his chance.
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Good luck to the connections, Oakwood Racing, The Rat Pack Racing Club, Phil Ellerby, and Ryder And Alex Sugden.