1.45: The six pounds that WAITING PATIENTLY receives from three time winner WESTERN RULES should bring the pair close together, but I tend to opt for proven winners over horses which have shown potential without scoring as a rule. The ground is very much in the favour of the selection as well, albeit WATING PATIENTLY has been beaten by less than an aggregate of three lengths to date via two silver medal efforts. Whatever happens between the pair, LIBBY MAE (3/3 at the venue) cannot be dismissed in a half decent opening contest.
Favourite factor: The inaugural 5/4 favourite finished out with the washing behind horses which filled the frame when returned at 4/1-5/2-12/1, before last year's 4/6 market leader prevailed.
2.15: Although Donald McCain has largly had a season to forget by his high standards thus far, Donald boasts a ratio of 11/32 at Sedgefield this term, winners which have produced 17 points of level stake profits. Donald saddles UP AND GO from the top of the handicap with obvious claims, whilst BEE CEE PEE M and GOOD VIBRATION should also figure prominently.
Favourite factor: One of the two favourites to date claimed a Placepot position by winning last year's renewal at odds of 2/1.
2.45: The terms and conditions of this event are in favour of CYCLOP according to the official assessor and as a soft ground Warwick winner on his penultimate start, it is difficult to envisage the five-year-old failing to become competitive in this grade/company on Sunday. David Dennis had only saddled 10 runners this month at the time of writing, though a couple of winners have been included in those figures. Others to consider include LUCEMATIC and TOTAL ASSETS from the bottom of the weights.
Favourite factor: Last year's 15/8 market leader claimed a Placepot position by finished second behind the 5/2 second favourite, the only other favourite having finished out with the washing the year before.
3.15: Three assignments have come and gone since PERSEID strung back to back success together, his fine record at this venue (see stas below) ensuring that Sue Smith's six-year-old is the first name on the team sheet. The two runners that represent the Tim Vaughan/Richard Johnson bandwagon at the track on Sunday attract the eye for obvious reasons, though SHOUT IT ALOUD is preferred to their raider in the opening race, mainly because there appear to be less serious rivals in this event. CARD GAME completes my trio against the other eight contenders.
Favourite factor: Last year's inaugural 7/4 favourite duly obliged.
3.50: SA SUFFIT returns to defend his crown off a two pound higher mark on similar (soft) ground, though a five pound claimer would make James Ewart's raider three pounds better in if the pilot can utilise all of his claim. That scenario makes the thirteen-year-old a tempting proposition, given that he also won during five subsequent assignments. That said, I doubt that SA SUFFUT will be sent off anywhere near the 12/1 odds which were on offer when successful 12 months ago. David Pipe sends just the one raider on the long journey on Sunday, whereby the chance of TOP WOOD demands respect. The negative surrounding David's raiders at Sedgefield this season relates to all three runners (all returned as favourites) having been beaten at 5/4-5/4-6/4. Only Donald McCain can top Malcolm Jefferson's haul of six winners at the track this term whereby FIRTH OF THE CLYDE is added to the mix.
Favourite factor: Only one of the three favourites has finished in the frame (exact science) via two contests to date.
4.20: Sue Smith (FLEMERINA) and Stuart Coltherd (HATTON SPRINGS) were the only represented trainers to have saddled recent winners when writing this analysis before Saturday's sport was contested. Both horses boast each way/toteplacepot claims, with ELLISTRIN BELLE offered as the alternative option given her good record at the track.
Favourite factor: Sedgefield's toteplacepot finale is a new race with which to close the programme.