12.20pm Sedgefield Tuesday 24th November
1 Nafaath (8/1) – One maiden hurdle win from eighteen attempts is hardly inspiring form and he was 39 lengths last of seven at Uttoxeter at the end of October and hasn’t been seen since. Dropped two pounds for that run this is his lowest rating since his sole victory giving him his best chance but the minimum trip may be against home today
2 Mubrook (12/1) – Now a veteran at the age of 10 he hasn’t been seen since January and may be lacking in race fitness after over 300 days off. He has scored over this distance on heavy ground at Navan but that was in 2010 and all his other victories have been over further, and his stable are yet to post a winner this season.
3 Captain Sharpe (50/1) – Five wins over this sort of trip is a positive but no wins in his last ten races counts against him. Left on the same handicap mark as when eleventh of twelve at Southwell last time out and beaten 63 lengths, he has raced here three times and is yet to make the frame.
4 Morning Time (NR) – Trainer Lucinda Russell is in good form and the nine year old is dropped in class here after the handicapper lowered his rating by seven pounds since his last run over hurdles. Has won off this rating of 95 at Hexham in the same class and if fit after 182 days off the track could be one to consider though four runs here without a place is discouraging.
5 Snowed In (4/1) – Slowly dropping back down the weights and has won off a rating just one pound higher than he has to carry today. Two miles and soft ground is not an issue though he has stayed further which could be needed if any more rain falls. Jockey Sean Quinlan has ridden him to his two victories over hurdles, and even though trainer Barbara Butterworth is yet to post a winner this season that run seems most likely to be broken today.
6 Unidexter (12/1) – Dropped five pounds for his last run when 77 lengths last at Uttoxeter but that may not be enough. Has won off of 95 (92 today less Harry Challoner’s three pound claim), but one hurdles win from thirteen attempts fails to inspire as does trainer Richard Ford’s one win from sixteen runners this season.
7 The Ice Factor (4/1) – Scottish trainer Alison Hamilton has a one win from one runner record in the past two weeks while the horse boasts a 10% strike rate after twenty races. Put up a pound for a good third at Hexham last time out, he hasn’t won a race since September 2011he has placed off higher weights recently in perhaps better races and has a favourites chance this afternoon but is a poor price in the circumstances.
8 Philharmonic Hall (12/1) – Lightly raced over hurdles but active on the flat, going and trip look ideal but his sole win over obstacles was way back in November 2011 in a maiden. That is his only win in 28 starts in total which is far from prolific, but we can ignore him pulling up at Huntingdon last time out over a trip too far. On his best form he has place chances – but there is no evidence he is near to that level as yet.
9 Wymeswold (25/1) – Has never won over hurdles despite thirteen attempts, but has placed at both Market Rasen and here at Sedgefield when second to Scorpions Sting who is now rated 105. That would rate Wymeswold at about 89 so he could be well handicapped here off of 81 but a hurdling maiden is hard to suggest as a bet today
10 Cumbrian Farmer (10/1) – His only win was over half a mile or so further which suggests they may be too quick for him here, and he has been campaigned at that sort of trip for the last twelve months. A 34 length third in a Perth seller is hardly inspiring, and we cannot suggest him dropped back to this trip today though his trainer has a 100% record in the last fortnight (one from one), and two out of three winners here this season which makes him of a little interest each way at least.
11 Mrs Grass (16/1) – Has to carry three pounds more than her allotted weight of nine eleven which removes most of jockey Diarmuid O’Regan’s five pound jockey claim. One win from 32 starts over hurdles at Hexham last November is a concern, though on revised terms she could get close to The Ice Factor based on Hexham form where she finished six lengths behind that rival who she meets on better terms today
It’s undoubtedly a tough race to call and now that Morning Time is a late non runner we have changed our pick to the main danger to the old selection and our new Free Tip will be Snowed In who is running off a decent weight and will love the trip and conditions here.