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Sedgefield Preview: Golden chance for Jubilee

Golden Jubilee ran a stormer when runner-up last time out, and can take advantage of a drop in grade to go one better in the 2m 1f handicap hurdle that opens proceedings on today’s card at Sedgefield (1.00).

The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained gelding has developed into a fairly useful performer on the level, and looked ahead of the assessor when going down by just a nose to Powerful Action in a class 4 contest on handicap debut over hurdles at Ludlow seven days ago.

Five-year-old Golden Jubilee travelled ominously well throughout the contest and, despite being far from fluent at several obstacles and jumping out to his left, the son of Zavata looked all over the winner approaching the final flight.

Golden Jubilee jumped the obstacle well, but landed a bit flat footed and allowed the eventual winner to poach a vital length advantage.

It took jockey Sam Twiston-Davies time to get him gathered together again, but Golden Jubilee then responded generously and closed all the way to the line.

Given how the race panned out it was a fine effort, and Golden Jubilee is able to race in this lower grade class 5 contest off the same mark of 92.

That makes him look thrown-in at the weights, especially with Ryan Hatch in the saddle whose claim takes off another invaluable 5lb.

Providing the race doesn’t come too soon it looks Golden Jubilee’s for the taking.

The feature race on the card is the Durham National (3.00), and Sun Cloud looks to have plenty going for him in the 3m 6f marathon test.

Gelding Sun Cloud landed back-to-back contests at Hexham and Catterick at the turn of the year, and looked a stayer to keep onside when powering clear to beat Merlin’s Wish by 11 lengths in the latter off a mark of 123.

The handicapper reacted by putting up Sun Cloud 12lb for that success, but the seven-year-old was in the process of running a blinder of his revised mark of 135 when falling at the 15th in the class 2 Eider Chase at Newcastle.

Sun Cloud was still travelling strongly and looked sure to play a hand in the finish when coming to grief. Although he then finished a well-beaten eigth of 16 in the Midlands’ Grand National at Uttoxeter on his next start, that was a very hot class 1 contest.

The son of Cloudings subsequently shaped far better on his final start last season when staying on third to Lamboro Lad over an inadequate 3m at Ayr in today’s grade of class 3, and the step back up in trip is sure to suit.

Another plus is that Sun Cloud’s trainer has a strike rate of 27.5 per cent with his runners at the track in the past 12 months, and off what looks a workable mark of 132 everything looks in place for a big run.

Selections:
1.00: Golden Jubilee (NAP)
1.30: Island Heights
2.00: Spitz
2.30: Grape Tree Flame
3.00: Sun Cloud (NB)
3.30: Oorayvic
4.00: After Toniight