At first glance, In Demand wouldn’t be one that would catch your eye as a betting proposition but with further inspection he is very interesting in this two mile handicap. He cost 110,000 Guineas and is related to Pivoine, who won the John Smiths Cup last season off a mark of 104 and has been placed at Group 3 level also. In Demand is never going to scale those heights but he makes plenty of appeal here off a mark of 58.
Last June he was 4th beaten just over six lengths by Mr Smith and Le Musee up in Carlisle over two miles but those two were thrown in relative to their jumps marks. In Decmeber, he was third behind Noble Behest and Battle Of Marathon but they are now rated eleven pounds and nine pounds higher respectively. In Demand was running off 65 that evening and was dropped to a mark of 60 for his last run at Lingfield when he sported first time blinkers. He travelled really well through the race but just as the pace was picking up three furlongs out, he got caught in a bad position and was badly hampered. It cost him all chance and he came home in his own time to be well beaten in 9th.
He has been dropped another two pounds to a mark and Adam Kirby has retained the ride and may be able to make amends for the run at Lingfield last time.
Ouro Branco was quite impressive when winning on his chase debut at Catterick last month and makes plenty of appeal here off just six pounds higher. The third and fourth from that race have won since and considering how easy Ouro Branco won, I think the handicapper would give him another few pounds if he got a chance.
Add in that Nigel Hawke operates at a 21% strike at Sedgefield and confidence is relatively high that Ouro Branco can win this en route to rating a fair bit higher over fences before the season is out.