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Sedgefield Preview – Cooper looks set to make a splash

In today’s opener at Sedgefield, Cooper can make a good start to his national hunt career and notch up a victory at the first time of asking.

Kevin Ryan’s bay gelding couldn’t be in better form having won on his last start off a mark of 74. He holds the highest official rating on the flat of all of his opponents today with the two nearest in the betting rated 45 and 68 respectively.

There’s no form to assess for Cooper in the national hunt sphere and we’re taking it on trust that his jumping will be up to scratch but his opponents don’t look anything special. Retro Valley notched up a fast double at Market Rasen but he was disappointing last time out off today’s mark of 122. He was beaten by two good horses but the manner in which he capitulated was disappointing. He has to concede a stone to Cooper and I’d be disappointed if Kevin Ryan’s three year-old couldn’t get the better of him on today’s terms.

Egmont got within 3 ½ lengths of Doubly Clever who beat Retro Valley by 22 lengths which would suggest that Egmont should have the beating of Retro Valley on collateral form. He does come out badly on official ratings with Retro Valley but does receive 7lbs which should at least go some way to aiding his chances. Cooper should have his measure though given Egmont looks far more unexposed and less likely to progress.

Brian Hughes is a very positive jockey booking and Cooper has a golden opportunity to make it 1/1 over obstacles today.

In the 4.25 at Sedgefield, Mr Burgees can follow up his Cartmel success by making it two from three over the larger obstacles.

He finished a respectable second on his chasing debut when beaten by a ready winner. He stepped up on his next start off today’s official rating although he didn’t beat a lot. He proved he can handle the fences and looks sure to keep on improving. A mark of 120 is very fair and puts him at the very top of the weights today and he shouldn’t have too many problems establishing himself as a solid chasing prospect.

The Yank is his biggest danger. David Bridgewater’s horse won at Southwell last time out but the form looks remarkably weak and he has to step up again today off a higher mark. He’s still out of the handicap even with a penalty which demonstrates the gulf in class. Tom Cannon made all on him last time out but he won’t have such an easy time of things today and will have to really step up to pick one or two of these off. Tom Scudamore is booked for the ride.

Mr Burgees looks a safer proposition of the two having won a far better race than The Yank. He gives away a lot of weight to the field which is a slight negative but he looks the better horse of the pair and he can notch up a double today.

Selections:

2.20 – Cooper (NAP)
2.50 – Lamool
3.20 – Welsh Bard
3.55 – Baby Jake
4.25 – Mr Burgees (NB)
4.55 – Footstepsintherain
5.25 – Duroob