It is slightly off-putting to see connections quickly reach for the cheekpieces but SANS LOGIQUE made a reasonable start to his hurdles career here last month and looks the one to beat. Magna Moralia is the most interesting of the hurdles debutants, while Kings Creek also has each-way claims.
Young Lieutenant possesses much the best hurdling form but ended last season rather under a cloud and returns now after a wind operation and seven months off. He’s a major contender if back to his best but FORTUNATE FRED was shaping up really well on his hurdling bow over C&D last month until coming down at the last, so he is given the nod with improvement very much on the cards.
Lovely Schtuff returns to the scene of his ready win so is not dismissed lightly, while the reappearing Tekiblue De L’Orme is another to consider on his chasing bow given his excellent hurdling record when fresh. But the vote goes to another having her first outing over fences in the shape of MILLIE THE MINX who has won twice over hurdles here and arrives in winning form from the Flat too.
There’s a strong chance that this race will be run at a fierce gallop given there is no shortage of front-runners in the line-up, one of whom is the feasibly weighted handicap debutant Lively Citizen. Meanwhile, The Blame Game and Ferry All appear closely matched on recent C&D novice form. However, in what is essentially an open race, it’s worth chancing that there’s further improvement to come from the Nicky Richards representative CATHAL’S STAR.
Sedgefield has often been a happy hunting ground for the strapping veteran Maxed Out King and the very dangerously handicapped but out-of-sorts My Renaissance. A similar comment applies to the top weight HONOURARY GIFT who ran a fine race in defeat to an in-form rival on his chasing debut (first start since wind surgery) over C&D this month. A reproduction of that form should see him go very close indeed.
Just Marvin is much respected on the back of his Uttoxeter win and Major Snugfit is another who looks sure to make his presence felt, after posting an encouraging fourth at Kelso. However, TO FLY FREE (nap) looks to have got in very lightly for her handicap debut so David Pipe’s promising ex-French filly can be confidently expected to open her account here.
Last year’s winner Hey Bob should make a bold defence of his crown and The Navigator could be well treated returning to this discipline but preference is for RADJASH who has suggested his turn is coming in two recent starts.
This bumper is probably a match between the penalised pair SOCIALIST AGENDA and Wellntyne. The latter was never stronger than at the finish when scoring at Bangor and receives a handy 8lb from the selection (if factoring in Jack Tudor’s 5lb claim). However, it’s probable that Laura Morgan’s Flat-bred dual Market Rasen winner will possess too much speed on this occasion.
The Racing Post’s tips at Sedgefield today
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