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Sedgefield Preview: Shady Lane weighted to strike for Skelton

Shady Lane can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to land the 2m 1f novices’ handicap chase at Sedgefield today (16.10).

The mare landed a handicap hurdle on debut for trainer Dan Skelton when easily beating Running Wild by five lengths at Fakenham on soft ground off a rating of 98.

Shady Lane was then not at her best three weeks later when third off 107, but has since been given a break to freshen-up and reverts to chasing off a mark of 99.

That makes the eight-year-old look very well-treated in a weak contest lacking any strength in depth, especially as she finished runner-up over the larger obstacles off 3lb higher last year.

The soft ground and trip are also ideal, and another plus is that Skelton has a terrific strike rate with the few runners he sends to the venue.

Skelton has saddled three winners from five runners at the track in the past 12 months, and granted a clear round everything looks in place for Shady lane to further enhance his excellent success rate of 60 per cent.

In the extended 3m 3f handicap hurdle (16.40), Kilcullen Arcticle looks to have been found a nice opportunity to open his account under rules.

The gelding won two of his four starts in Irish point-to-points, but has yet to get his head in front in seven outings since joining Herefordshire-based trainer Michael Scudamore.

However, Kilcullen Article has run a couple of solid races, including when a staying on third to Kapricorne over 2m 6f at Ffos Las on handicap debut off an opening mark of 96.

The seven-year-old is now able to race off just 87, having shaped quite nicely at Chepstow last month when a not knocked about sixth of 12 to Modeligo over 2m 4f.

That was Kilcullen Article’s first run following a 114 day break, and if building on it the son of Definite Article has major claims from a handicapping perspective.

Connections are also stepping Kilcullen Article up markedly in trip, and it should suit as he looked an out-and-out stayer when finishing third at Ffos Las.

Selections:
14.10: Dynamo
14.40: Major Ivan
15.10: Cara Court
15.40: Cape York
16.10: Shady Lane (NAP)
16.40: Kilcullen Article (NB)
17.10: Hi Dancer