1.00 Sedgefield

MIDDLEBROW (NAP) (best price 2-1) probably went a stride or two too quick on his hurdling debut at Kelso, but the fact that he still managed to keep on well to finish a close-up third augurs well for his chances of getting off the mark around today’s sharper circuit. Pestered for the early lead at the Borders venue, Donald McCain’s inmate did manage to finally shake off his fellow front-running guest approaching the second last but, given how he was softened up in the first mile or so, those exertions were bound to take its toll on him late on. Sure to be all the better for that initial outing since leaving Liz Doyle in Ireland, the son of Oscar has every chance of going gate to wire with that all-important fitness advantage over his two main market rivals.

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MIDDLEBROW - 1pt @ 2/1Lost -1pts

3.45 Sedgefield

THEATREBAR (best price 9-4) has obviously had problems being off the track for 710 days, but that’s just the sort of motivation that makes Dan Skelton tick and the Warwickshire handler can once again turn base metal into gold with a runner from a previous stable. Formerly a useful performer with Tom Symonds, the son of King’s Theatre had looked a promising staying chaser in the making until injury intervened, and using the logic that it’s probably best to catch a horse who’s been off the track for as long as he has first time out, he makes plenty of appeal to turn back the clock in the best possible fashion.

THEATREBAR - 1pt @ 9/4Won 2.25pts

5.45 Newcastle

Following proven C&D winners has reaped huge benefits in the early stages of this newly-laid track and in TESTA ROSSA (best price 15-2), we have another qualifier of the system right off the conveyer belt. Seemingly a 10f specialist prior to his latest effort, Jim Goldie’s charge bucked that trend with a convincing display here two weeks ago and in beating the previously impressive Totally Magic, he exhibited the sort of speed that probably left connections wandering why they hadn’t let him run over a mile on the previous 27 starts.

TESTA ROSSA - 0.5pts e/w @ 15/2Won 4.5pts