Sedgfield preview: Knight can land Durham National double
David Metcalf | October 29, 2015
The feature race on today’s card at Sedgefield is the Durham Nartional (15.00), and Royale Knight looks decent value to land back-to-back successes in the 3m 5f contest.
Trained by Dr Richard Newland, Royale Knight ran out the facile winner of the race 12 months ago when pulling clear to slam Lackamon by 17 lengths off a mark of 124.
The nine-year-old went to to finish an excellent sixth of 39 to Many Clouds in the class 1 Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree off 139, and is now able to race in this class 3 contest off 3lb lower.
That gives Royale Knight every chance at the weights, and he comes into the contest on the back of a spin over hurdles to blow away the cobwebs.
This son of King’s Theatre had the same preparation before landing last year’s renewal, and has won second time up after a break on three occasions.
That suggests that Royale Knight is likely to be spot on to do himself justice, and with Will Kennedy in the saddle everything looks in place for him to retain his crown.
Side with Sirpertan
In the 2m handicap hurdle that closes proceedings (16.00), Sirpertan can take advantage of a drop in the weights to open his account over the obstacles.
The Marjorie Fife trained gelding has only had four starts over hurdles, and shaped nicely on the first of those when a 12 1/4 length fourth of 12 to Relentless Pursuit at Wetherby.
The winner, second and third are now rated 110, 110 and 95 respectively and the fifth and sixth home 98 and 102.
Sirpetan went on to finish a fair third at Ayr, but then failed to shine on handicap debut over course and distance when a distant fifth of seven off an opening mark of 110 when last seen in action.
However, the four-year-old is now able to race off 95 and that makes the unexposed Sirpertan look on a handy mark judged on on his Wetherby run in what doesn’t look the strongest of class 5 contests.
13.00: Light The City
13.30: Love The Leader
14.00: Western Breeze
14.30: Jac The Legend
15.00: Royale Knight (NAP)
15.30: Alf The Audacious
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