Today’s card at Sedgefield was subject to a 2.30 inspection on Sunday and the racecourse executive did not appear too optimistic that the course would be given the green light with the track frozen in places.
There is a Jumpers Bumper card at Lingfield, however, and I hope to see Sometimes Always (1.45) land his hat-trick having won his last couple of starts over timber for Ian Williams albeit over two-and-a-half miles. Charlie Todd has been in the saddle for both those successes and keeps the ride. The 6-y-old likes to race prominently and should ensure a decent gallop although he would appreciate a lead as he can be a bit too keen for his own good. He was 4s with bet 365 – how? – first thing but into 9/4 with William Hill at the time of posting.
Atomic Jack finished runner up in a similar event here earlier in the month, but he was well beaten by the impressive winner Royaume Uni although he was given a bit too much to do and had to make his ground up wide going into the home straight. Heart Of A Lion has had a wind operation since finishing runner up in a Novice Hurdle at Taunton back in December, but this Bumper winner has only had four career starts and a market move would be worth noting.
The vote, however, goes to Olly Murphy’s Linelee King (2.15) who has only ran seven times but has won a point, a Bumper and over hurdles. He looks sure to make his mark over fences in time but his stable are going great guns and the grey gets the ew vote at 11/2 with Boylesports with Aidan Coleman in the saddle.
Thibault (2.50) was no match for Brewin’upastorm at Taunton last time and was beaten when coming down at the last. He has run a couple of decent races on the flat in recent starts and he was staying on when beaten just over 8L in a decent Novice event at Kempton over 12f last month. The step up to today’s two-mile trip should suit. The 9/1 with Bet365 did not last long but the 5s with William Hill is still fair.
Jarlath caused a 66/1 shock when landing a similar event here last month but he carries a 6lbs penalty this afternoon. The Unit (3.20) won a valuable Newbury Bumper earlier in his career and returned from a near two-year absence earlier in the season. The selection – 15/8 with 10bet – is now 10 but has shown in a couple of decent chases that he is no back number, and he gets the vote for Alan King and Tom Cannon.
There is a twilight card at Wolverhampton and My Girl Maggie (5.10) can return to winning ways having finished runner up over 12f here last week when she stayed on all the way to the line from a 1lb higher mark. Richard Kingscote keeps the ride and I hope he makes it a true test back up to a trip where he scored over C&D from just a 3lbs lower mark last month.
The filly has been busy – this is her fifth race since the middle of December – but the hope is that she is not going to the well once too often. She has form figures of 112 for this afternoon’s pilot and is taken to stretch the stamina of Hugo Palmer’s Combine who steps up beyond 12f for the first time. He represents the biggest danger. There was 5/4 available on Sunday afternoon but she is 4/5 at Unibet at the time of writing.