Timeform’s best bets at Sedgefield:
TELHIMLISTEN seemingly hasn’t been the easiest to train, but he shaped encouragingly on his return from another break when runner-up at Musselburgh earlier this month, finished a distant second to a good prospect. He was given a patient ride on that occasion and wasn’t knocked about in the closing stages but still stayed on to take second on the run-in. Telhimlisten is potentially well treated now handicapping and almost certainly has more to offer. Silkstone and Lord Caprio appeal as the main dangers.
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The vote goes to ONESTEPATATIME, who improved over hurdles in the latter stages of last season, and held every chance when falling at the second-last from this mark on her return and chase debut at Hexham. Provided she is none the worse for that mishap, this unexposed seven-year-old is entitled to progress in this sphere. Fiston du Mou is an obvious danger on the back of his course and distance success earlier this month and he is feared most.
This doesn’t look the strongest race of its type and it looks a good opportunity for CHAMPAGNESOCIALIST to open her account in this sphere. She was a wide-margin winner of a bumper at Downpatrick in September and she travelled well in a big-field maiden on her debut over hurdles at Tramore last month. That form sets a good standard and she will be hard to beat with improvement forthcoming. A serious mistake ruined Lipa K’s chance in a race that is beginning to work out well at Chepstow so he can pose the biggest threat.
SABBATHICAL stripped fitter for his recent comeback over hurdles when resuming winning ways in this sphere at Fakenham last week, justifying strong support to make it back-to-back wins in the race. He had to work hard, still having plenty to do two out, but he stayed on well from the home turn to run down the aggressively ridden runner-up. He remains fairly treated on the pick of his form turned out under a 7 lb penalty and is taken to follow up. Lucky Robin, despite his losing run over fences, may emerge as the chief threat.
This is a tricky novice to solve but the narrow vote goes in the favour of HAPPYWIFEHAPPYLIFE, who showed promise on the Flat and over hurdles for Joseph O’Brien and is entitled to come forward for her yard debut and first start for nine months at Wexford three weeks ago. This race doesn’t look as strong and she is preferred to course and distance winner Yukon and Legendary Day, who was fairly useful on the Flat.
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ROCCO STORM is suddenly a much-improved performer on the back of a brace of easy chase wins and the hat-trick looks firmly on the cards. He had any amount in hand over course and distance last time and should have no problem defying another 8 lb rise. Warriors Story is bred to do well over the larger obstacles so is feared most, though Tom Creen needs a market check from his lowly mark given he has managed to win a point.
This might not be the strongest bumper and VOLANTIS, who has the only form in the field, is taken to build on his third-place finish at Listowel in December. That was a much stronger contest than this and with improvement expected, he should prove hard to contain. Swallows Song looks the pick of the newcomers on paper.
Timeform’s best bets at Sedgefield:
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