Following a 5/1 winner yesterday, Steve Ryder is back with three selections from today's action.
This doesn’t looked the strongest handicap hurdle and I am willing to take a chance on the Noel Meade trained EUROBOT (best priced at 33/1) at a huge price. The lightly raced nine-year-old was a high class novice chaser who was sent off only 12/1 to beat Monkfish in a Grade 1 where he was rated 135 a couple of years ago. He has struggled for the past season over fences with his jumping and it is interesting that connections now revert him back to hurdles for this race.
Eurobot only raced twice over hurdles which were an impressive 3 ½ length victory in a maiden hurdle and a 4th placed finish at Clonmel in a Grade 3 novice hurdle behind Allaho. The handicapper has given him a good chance with a rating of 121 over hurdles and I think he looks worth backing with Sam Ewing on board and four places on offer.
The Ben Haslam trained THATBEATSBANAGHER (best priced at 2/1) has a good record at Sedgefield and he looks the solid option in this race. The JP McManus owned nine-year-old has form figures of 4U14212 at the course in including an impressive 7 ½ length victory over this course and distance in September off a mark of 96. He has since disappointed at both Hexham and Newcastle but bounced back to form at this track with a ½ length 2nd over this course and distance a month ago.
That 2nd came off a mark of 100 and Thatbeatsbanagher should prove hard to beat off only a 2lb higher mark with Kevin Brogan retaining the ride.
This looks a competitive 0-130 handicap chase but preference goes to the Ludlow specialist HEAD TO THE STARS (best priced at 18/1). The Henry Daly trained twelve-year-old has form figures of 41P11232 in handicap chases over this course and distance including victories off marks of 126, 125 and 129.
Head To The Stars has outrun odds of 16/1 on his previous two starts to finish 4th and 2nd including when only beaten 2 ½ lengths over this course and distance a month ago off a mark of 132. He remains off the same mark in this race and I expect him to run once again off top weight.