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Hats Off To Larry
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A fairly useful five-time winner on the flat, Oliver Greenall’s charge has taken some time to put things all together over hurdles. After a few poor runs, Hats Off To Larry broke his jumping duck at Market Rasen last Friday, travelling into the race strongly and putting himself in pole position jumping the last. The front two pulled clear of the rest that day, so off an unchanged mark, the 7yo might just be well weighted to record a quick-fire double if it hasn’t taken too much out of him. He’s backed up quickly to some success on the flat in the past, so it wouldn’t be out of character if he were to do so.

Follow Your Fire
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Authorizo did what most of these need to do and bounced back to form after some disappointing runs when second at Southwell last time. He could be dangerous off the same mark, but a chance is taken that Follow Your Fire is on a going day this week. Mid-division at Hexham last time out, he was in the winner’s enclosure as recently as March, when scoring on debut over fences. He’s not excluded from a sound performance over the smaller obstacles, as he wasn’t disgraced in fifth here over 2m4f subsequently. He was a winner over that same course and distance last year, and while this is a shorter trip, he’s now 2lb lower than his sole hurdles winning mark.

Beyond The Clouds
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On paper this should be a straight shoot-out between Christopher Wood and Beyond the Clouds, with the pair at least a stone clear of their five rivals. With the former’s six best Racing Post Ratings coming with some give in the ground, slight preference is for Beyond the Clouds who tends to appreciate a faster surface. Charlie Longsdon’s charge was well entitled to need his run on the all-weather at Kempton when returning after a six month lay-off following a fruitful summer. In the frame on five of his seven hurdles starts, with his most recent outing resulting in a solid fifth at Listed level, he’s likely to run his race and will put up a strong challenge to the Nicholls runner.

Blue Sans
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Fergal O’Brien’s mare has shown some decent form in bumpers, scoring at the first attempt before finding Listed level a little too hot. Last time out she rallied gamely at the death after becoming a little outpaced here over 2m1f, eventually finishing third. That is to be expected considering she was a point to point winner (placed on another start), and is a half-sister to a number of horses who were at their best when stamina was really tested, so should appreciate this step up in trip. Her trainer tends to have his horses spot on for these types of events, with over 63% of his maiden runners finishing in the frame since the start of last season. If Blue Sans doesn’t win, she should go very close.

About Sedgefield Racecourse

Home of the Durham National, racing has taken place in Sedgefield for nearly 300 years. The feature race was won in 2019 by Robert Stephens’ The Caller and has also been claimed by the likes of Royale Knight and 13-time course winner Fatehalkhair.

The fences at Sedgefield are some of the softest in the country, allowing a particularly shakey jumper to make the odd mistake on their way round. When it’s soft underfoot, jockeys will often choose to take the ‘golden highway’ up the stands-side rail.

The RacecourseStockton on TeesUnited Kingdom
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