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Sedgefield Preview: Brother Scott can exploit class drop

Brother Scott has been knocking on the door of late and can gain a deserved success in the 2m 1f handicap chase at Sedgefield today (2.50) now eased in grade.

The Sue Smith trained gelding was a hurdles winner over course and distance and all set to open his account over fences when unseating his rider two from home in a class 4 novices’ handicap chase at Hexham back in October when four lengths up and travelling well.

Since then the seven-year-old has posted solid efforts to finish runner-up in similar grade affairs at Carlisle and Kelso.

In the last of those, Brother Scott kept on well to be beaten six lengths by Uno Valoroso off a mark of 90, and the winner has gone on follow-up in good style of 7lb higher to give the form a solid look.

The son of Kirkwall is able to race in this lower grade class 5 affair off an unchanged mark, and that makes Brother Scott look very well-treated considering he was attempting to give Uno Valoroso 6lb.

There is also every chance that Brother Scott could get an uncontested lead, and if that proves to be the case he is going to be tough to peg back in the hands of 7lb claimer Callum Bewley.

In the 3m 3f handicap chase (1.20), Gibbstown looks primed to run a huge race.

The Paul Stafford trained mare was in good form over fences back in the Spring, scoring in the mud at Ayr by 16 lengths before going on to land a 3m 1f contest at Hexham by a comfortable three lengths off a mark of 93.

The eight-year-old was also far from disgraced on her final start last season when fourth of 11 to Outlaw Tom at Hexham off her current mark of 98, and should be spot on to do herself justice after a spin over hurdles at Ayr last month.
Judged on the way Gibbstown progressed last season she could still have more to offer over fences, and with conditions ideal this looks a good opportunity for her to get back in the winners’ enclosure.

Stanley Bridge has a terrific record at the track and can further enchance it with victory in the 2m 1f handicap hurdle (2.20).

The gelding has won four of his eight starts over course and distance, with the last of those coming back in March where he only had to be driven out to beat Ben Cee Pee M by 1 1/2 lengths off a mark of 92.

The seven-year-old backed that up with a solid second over course and distance to Dalmo off 97, and is now able to race off 95.

That gives Stanley Bridge, who won off 6lb higher in 2013, a big chance from a handicapping perspective now returned to his favoured venue after five starts elsewhere.

The booking of Lucy Alexander to do the steering for the first time in 10 starts also suggests connections mean business as she has ridden him to four of his six career successes over the obstacles.

Selections:
12.20: Jacks Last Hope
12.50: El Beau
1.20: Gibbstown
1.50: Silver Vogue
2.20: Stanley Bridge (NB)
2.50: Brother Scott (NAP)
3.20: Legacy Phoenix