Sedgefield and Southwell previews: Snuker weighted to strike
David Metcalf | February 9, 2016
Snuker ready to shine at Sedgefield
Trainer James Ewart is beginning to strike form, and Snuker looks decent value to provide him with another winner in the 3m 3f handicap hurdle at Sedgefield today (15.25).
The Scottish handler has come out of the doldrums to saddled two winners from his last six runners, and in Snuker has a gelding who relished testing conditions when scoring twice last season and has been given a chance by the assessor.
In the last of those successes at Kelso, the nine-year-old forged clear to win easily by 19 lengths off a mark of 81.
Snuker was then forced to race off a rating of 101 after having his attentions largely switched back to chasing, and has failed to cut any ice in four subsequent starts.
However, the son of Snurge is now able to race off just 87 and that makes him well-treated on the pick of his form.
It is just 6lb higher than when last successful and prior to that victory, his three wins over fences had come off 86, 92 and 94.
Connections are now also fitting Snuker with blinkers and a tongue-tie for the first time and, if that combination has the desired effect, he looks weighted to run a huge race.
Copt Hill can collect in finale
In the 2m 1f handicap hurdle that closes proceedings (16.30), Copt Hill can cash-in on a drop in the weights to get back to winning ways.
The Tracy Waggott trained gelding has just one win to his name over the obstacles, with that success coming over course and distance back in January 2013 off a mark of 78.
However, Copt Hill did post several solid efforts to be placed last year, including when runner-up at Carlisle off 89.
The eight-year-old is now able to race off just 79, just 1lb higher than when last victorious, and comes into the race having shaped well in his last two starts.
In the first of those over course and distance, Copt Hill finished an excellent two lengths off 81.
Copt Hill has since gone on to finish a solid third at Catterick, and this looks a golden opportnuity for him to get back on the scoresheet.
13.50: Yes I Did
14.20: Charlie Wingnut
14.55: No Through Road
15.25: Snuker (NAP)
16.00: Odds On Dan
16.30: Copt Hill (NB)
Amy Blair holds all the aces on handicap debut at Southwell
Amy Blair can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to open his account in the 5f handicap on today’s card at Southwell (16.50).
The Keith Dalgleish trained colt has shaped with promise in three quite maiden runs, most notably when fourth to Cheeky Angel at Ayr when last seen in action.
Amy Blair kept on under tender handling to be beaten 6 3/4 lengths after running green, and it was an effort which suggested the son of Captain Gerrard was being brought along with handicaps in mind.
The form also looks decent in the context of this class 6 contest, with the winner and runner-up now rated 72 and the third home 73.
That suggests that the assessor has taken a big chance in allotting Amy Blair an opening mark off just 56, especially as the three-year-old remains unexposed and open to bags more improvement.
Sir Billy Wright can cash-in on class drop
Sir Billy Wright ran a blinder when runner-up last time out and can take advantage of a drop in class to go one better and land the spoils in the 6f handicap (15.50).
The David Evans trained gelding is a tough and consistent sort who hinted that his time was near when chasing home Cross Fire in a class 2 contest over course and distance two weeks ago.
Sir Billy Wright ran on strongly to go down by a diminishing 1/2 a length and, although now 2lb higher in the weights, remains well-treated on the pick of his form now dropped back down to class 4 company.
Another plus is that connections have booked the services of rising apprentice star Josephine Gordon to do the steering.
She is terrific value for her 5lb claim, and taking it into account Sir Billy Wright is actually running off 3lb lower than when last successful at Ffos Las.
14.10: Clock On Tom
14.45: Sir Pitt
15.15: White Bullet
15.50: Sir Billy Wright
16.20: Divine Touch
16.50: Amy Blair (NAP)