3.10pm Sedgefield Tips & Betting Preview 02/11/2017

A large field for the Durham National with a prize of £18,768. Read on for expert analysis and betting tips.

IN SUMMARYMISTER DON is a likeable horse who never fails to run his race, he relished this trip when a gallant second to today’s rival Boric in the Highland National at Perth and can go in at the main expense of Audacious Plan who looks to have been targeted at this.

1 DELUSIONOFGRANDEUR – Has a respectable strike rate of 3-8 over fences and has been dropped a pound to 134 for a pleasing comeback run 15 days ago. Travelled nicely there before weakening into third at the business end – should be spot on for this.

2 SMOOTH STEPPER – Has tackled monster trips before so this should concern him from a stamina standpoint, even if turning into a real test. Has a bit of a patchy record however having only won four of his 23 starts and others are probably more solid betting options.

3 BUACHAILL ALAINN – Won this in great style by six lengths last year off a mark of 125 and returns here off only two pounds higher which makes him of obvious interest. Hasn’t won since then but is race fit and has probably been aimed at this; decent chance.

4 RUSSIAN REGENT – Gordon Elliott has started the season all guns blazing and it may be a tip in itself that he sends one over for this decent prize. Hasn’t won since 2016 and tries a new trip today, but is in good hands and has won off higher marks in the past.

5 OPTIMISTIC BIAS – Looked a progressive horse when racking up a hat-trick between April and June. Was tailed off when seeking a four-timer but has been given a break since and can’t be ruled out having been freshened up.

6 CARRIGDHOUN – Has been well beaten on his last four racecourse appearances but has slipped to a mark of 124 as a result. Won off seven pounds higher back in February and is well handicapped in general if bouncing back to last year’s form, trip no problem either.

7 ROCK OF LEON – Won two on the bounce in late 2016 but has had his problems since then and form figures of UUP don’t inspire much confidence. Makes debut for a new stable today but probably best watched on this occasion.

8 GROVE SILVER – Finished second on both attempts at this trip which is more than can be said for most in this field. Won by eight lengths back in March and isn’t all that much higher in the weights than he was that day; outside each way chance.

BORIC – Ran a huge race to win the Highland National back in April of a mark off 108 and ran a lovely race off nine pounds higher on his reappearance when a nose second to Vic De Touzaine. Should make another bold bid over a trip he relishes.

10 AUDACIOUS PLAN – Finished a pleasing second when sent off the 7/4 favourite on his stable debut off a mark of 118 and has since bolted up in a handicap hurdle. Reverts to fences now off a very reasonable mark for a trainer who won this in 2014 and 2015; solid.

11 CAMILLAS WISH – Won four of her six starts during the summer and wasn’t disgraced in either of her defeats. Has climbed up the weights as a result of that good period of form however and will need a personal best to win this for her new stable.

12 WASHED ASHORE – Has finished second in two of his last three starts and won the other. Runs here for the very shrewd connections of J P McManus and Jonjo O’Neill so can’t be discounted and has a decent chance if seeing the trip out adequately.

13 MISTER DON – A consistent and reliable type who has placed in 11 of his 16 starts and won two of those. Was a neck second two starts ago when staying on strongly and ran another good race last time out, no surprise if he is bang there come the finish.

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