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Hexham Preview: Dan can deliver on handicap debut

Trainer Michael Scudamore is enjoying a tremendous season and Dan Emmett can provide him with another winner in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle on today’s marathon eight-race card at Hexham (15:10).

This gelding has shaped with bags of promise in three runs over the obstacles and looks the type who has been brought along steadily with handicaps in mind.

The five-year-old stayed on from off the pace to be fourth on his debut over 2m at Wetherby, where he finished just 2 1/4 lengths behind a horse rated 138 at the time.

The second home, The Grey Taylor, is also now rated 140 and that makes Dan Emmett’s opening handicap mark of 120 look exploitable.

Dan Emmett backed that up with a solid third at Newcastle, before finishing a highly creditable 3 3/4 length runner-up to the well-regarded Champagne Present over 3m at Ludlow when last seen in action.

The drop back in trip this afternoon is sure to suit and, with the in-form Tom Scudamore in the saddle and further improvement on the cards, Dan Emmett looks weighted to take all the beating.

In the 2m handicap chase (14:35), Shine A Diamond can take advantage of a drop in the weights to get back on the winning trail.

The Lucinda Russell trained gelding opened his account over course and distance back in October when making all to easily beat Milan Royale by seven lengths off a mark of 92, before following up at Musselburgh off 98.

The seven-year-old got put up to 105 for the latter, and has managed to make the frame just once in four subsequent starts.

However, that has resulted in the handicapper cutting Shine A Diamond plenty of slack and he is now able to race off just 92.

That is 6lb lower than when last successful, and gives the son of St Jovite major claims at the weights on the pick of his form.

Shine A Diamond also goes well for young rider Graham Watters, who has partnered him to both his career successes and, with underfoot conditions to suit, a big run looks on the cards.

Selections:
13:30 Captain Hox
14:00 Definite Soldier
14:35 Shine A Diamond (NB)
15:10 Dan Emmett (NAP)
15:40 Esme Rides A Gaine
16:10 Beggar’s Velvet
16:40 Cloudy Dream
17:10 K O Kenny