We begin todays preview with a class three handicap over ten furlongs. Only seven are scheduled to go to post but it is an interesting race as we have two last time out winners and a further two who won on their penultimate run. Sellingallthetime is one of the last time out winners but has been raised 4lbs and doesn’t make much appeal back over ten furlongs as he has attempted this trip on six occasions without success. The Character was a three length winner last time out and although has been given a 6lbs rise (to a mark of 80) he has won off a mark of 79 last year. He steps up in class for todays’ race and as is latest win was the first show of any decent form since winning last September he would not be a confident choice to follow up. Abbey Angel is the forecast favourite and has course form having won here over a mile in September last year. Her first attempt over ten furlongs resulted in a respectable third considering it was her first run in nine months. Although five lengths behind the winner she was eleven lengths ahead of fourth and with the benefit of that recent run, along with a 1lbs ease in the weights, she is feared. Preference however is for Dance King. He is proven over course and distance and has consistent recent form of four placed efforts from his last five runs. Both career wins over ten furlongs have come on good-to-firm ground so with forecast conditions to suit he is taken to add to his win tally today.
Dance King (WIN)
Previous course and distance winner Master Of The Hall has won four from nine over three miles and looks to be a big player. The eleven year old won over hurdles last time out and can race off a 4lbs lower mark back over fences. He is passed over today as, although obviously in good form, his last four wins have all been over hurdles and you have to go back to 2012 to see his last success over the larger obstacles. Chicago Outfit has a chance of completing hit hat-trick despite a 12lbs rise for an impressive course and distance win earlier this month. Off a higher mark and upped in class he will likely find today a tougher assignment but cannot be completely ruled out given his current form. Slight preference however is for Pekanheim, who has won his last two races here at Hexham and also arrives looking to complete his hat-trick. This will be his first attempt over three miles but based on the manner of his victory last time out the extra distance shouldn’t hold any problems if given a patient ride.
Ocean Sheridan is one of two previous course and distance winners and, although that win came of soft ground, he has also performed well on firmer ground and has a strike rate of over 50% for top three finishes. A 2lbs ease in the weights should benefit and means he is just 1lbs above his last winning mark. Golden Spun is the other course and distance winner but has been disappointing this year and would need to show a huge improvement to make the frame today. Aprovado is the forecast favourite and arrives here fresh from a win over todays’ trip on good-to-firm ground at Redcar last month however that was his first win in six attempts over six furlongs and a 6lbs rise for a ¾ length victory could leave him vulnerable today. Bacall has only had three runs and is already a winner over todays’ trip over at Southwell. She would have likely finished closer than a five length third last time out had she not missed the break and could be a danger if settling better in the stalls today.
Ocean Sheridan (E/W if 9/2+)