Seven runners go to post for the penultimate race of the day at Sedgefield on Sunday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Since the blinkers have been added DARK AND DANGEROUS has become a different animal entirely, winning three of his last four runs under today’s rider Amy Waugh. Making most here over C&D on his latest start when digging in deep to force himself back in front when headed, he has a further 5lb rise for today’s run but that looks unlikely to stop him especially with Amy Waugh claiming 7lb. He has his conditions and should take all the beating back down in class, with Mash Potato perhaps his most interesting opponent with cheekpieces added, though he has been solidly out of form for a while now.
1 DARK AND DANGEROUS – Since the blinkers have been added Simon Waugh’s nine year old has staged a resurgence, winning three of his last four starts under today’s 7lb claimer Amy Waugh. He made most ten days ago here over C&D when showing brilliant battling capabilities to get back up when headed, though he is perfectly happy to track the pace also. He has a further 5lb rise in the weights to contend with but he is back down in class with 7lb off his back once again thanks to his capable claimer, and looks a very tough nut to crack today with all things considered. Has to be respected.
2 AZA RUN – Landed a gamble when getting off the mark at the fourteenth attempt at Leicester in February (1m 7f, Heavy), and has been raised 2lb as a result. That could be seen as quite generous as the victory was reasonably comfortable and a mark of 92 shouldn’t be beyond him as a lightly raced seven year old. Similar conditions today and if in the same vein of form he has definite place claims with Aiden Blackmore claiming 10lb, but he isn’t one to rely on heavily and is quite risky on balance.
3 ENDEAVOR – Now 7lb below his last winning mark, with that win coming here over C&D in May 2016. He has subsequently won over fences in August but has been soidly out of form this season, last seen well beaten at Musselburgh in February (1m 7f, Good). Today’s testing ground is a concern here and he faces some rivals who are in good form at present. Possible place claims purely do the current mark he is on, but he remains vulnerable for win purposes for Dianne Sayer.
4 MASH POTATO – Yet win over hurdles for Noel Kelly and although he showed some form in maiden’s, he has struggled badly in handicaps and is yet to put up any form of note this season. Connections reach for cheekpieces in an attempt to revive but he does look set for another struggle unless they have a drastic effect. Possible each way claims if they do with conditions to suit, but you can find much more solid options in this line up and he looks very risky.
5 TOOLA BOOLA – C&D winner back in October 2015 off a 7lb lower mark and that still stands as her only win to date, with a record of one win from twenty-four races overall. Out of form for the most part since that run, she turned in a surprise good run when second at Newcastle in February (2m, Heavy) and does have claims backing that up. She isn’t however one who is likely to with her overall record taken into account and she looks to be vulnerable for win purposes despite conditions being to suit. Each way claims at best if reproducing that last run but she continues to be risky if judged on her overall profile.
6 MRS GRASS – Two wins from fifty-three overall which doesn’t help her case and she has failed to back up her good third at Uttoxeter on New Year’s Eve (2m, Soft), well beaten on two occasions since then. She was a well beaten last of the finishers when last seen here over C&D against her own sex, but the handicapper has refused to relent and only taken a pound off her back. Hard to fancy on that basis despite being onto her last winning mark and others are readily preferred.
7 HUGH’S SECRET – Finally showed his first bit of promise at the sixth attempt over hurdles when fifth at Wetherby two weeks ago but he failed to back that up a week later, struggling as soon as the pace increased at Catterick on his latest start (2m 3f, Soft). Likely to be happier now back down in trip with the handicapper taking 3lb off his back, but he still remains hard to fancy. Others make far more appeal though he can’t be completely discounted for the places if reproducing his penultimate effort off this now basement mark.