Sunday’s race of the day – Who will triumph in this year’s Durham National?
We take a look through the runners in this year’s Durham National Handicap Chase at Sedgefield and provide readers with our tips on Sunday 20th October.
National Hunt fans have three excellent jumps cards to take in across Britain and Ireland tomorrow afternoon. Kempton’s card may be headlined by a couple of Listed races, but the big betting race of the day will be the Durham National up at Sedgefield and our expert has cast his eye through the field to try and find the winner.
Sunday’s Race Of The Day – Durham National
Won this race last year under Henry Brooke, securing a nine-length triumph off a mark just three pounds lower than this. Placed once in three starts following that win, well beaten in the Scottish Grand National. Only beaten by five lengths on final start at Uttoxeter back in May, had a wind op since. Strong defense of crown expected.
Won once and finished a close second twice on three outings for Dan Skelton this term. Secured an 11-length triumph over 21 furlongs here at Sedgefield for Mick Easterby back in April. Plenty of market support and goes for an in-form stable. Soft ground and trip a major worry though.
Encouraging return after 450-days out of action at the Cheltenham Festival, finishing sixth behind Tiger Roll in the Cross Country. Went close to winning on most recent start in West Wales National too, coming up two lengths short of Pobbles Bay. Ground not a problem and should have no trouble seeing out the trip.
Listed winner during his days in France, but has only appeared twice since November 2016. Comes into this on the back of 800-days out of action and will be having his first start for Micky Hammond’s stable. Can see why this eleven-year-old brings up the betting.
Won first start over fences in a novice handicap last autumn, before returning to hurdling to win at Uttoxeter on following start. Fell at Cartmell on first start of New Year, before finishing second and fourth in a couple of decent handicaps. Has ability to progress beyond current mark, this a big step up in class though.
After dropping right down to a mark of 101 last autumn, Charlie Mann’s ten-year-old enjoyed a fruitful campaign battling his way back up the weights. Won London National off a feather weight, before placing in Eidar Chase and another good-quality handicap at Plumpton. Pulled up in Scottish National latest, but ran well to finish second off this mark in March and Rex Dingle’s claimer will come in handy.
Scoop The Pot
Enjoyed decent summer campaign last season, winning two Class Threes over fences. Hasn’t shown much in the way of form since returning to action in July, with a 10-length second his best result so far. Could have a say in the matter if back to top form, but doesn’t hold much appeal at his current price.
Experienced former point-to-pointer, who finished second here at Sedgefield over three-and-a-quarter miles back in August. Well beaten on most recent start at Newton Abbot and doesn’t seem capable of much more improvement.
Quirky sort with up-and-down form. Refused to race at Perth when last seen. Has won two of last four chases, including a 24-length triumph over Henryville at Cartmel back in August. Softening ground doesn’t do him any favours though. Remains a risky betting proposition.
Spent most of last season trying to exploit low hurdling mark. Shaped well on return to chasing with decent second at Sandown back in March. Outstayed a dour chaser in Shanroe Santos to win the Sussex National on heavy ground back in 2018. Never won on the back of a break, but a bold showing isn’t discounted.
Last year’s winner, Brian Boranha and Vinnie Lewis are capable of big performances on their day, and Morney Wing holds appeal under claimer Rex Dingle. However, the one I want to side with here is fellow ten-year-old KINGSWELL THEATRE.
Richie McLernon’s mount ran a cracker at the end of last season, clocking an RPR some eight pounds higher than his official rating when finishing second to Pobbles Bay. Michael Scudamore’s charge goes very well fresh – won the Cross Country at Cheltenham’s November Meeting on first start of 2017/18 campaign – and could be even more effective after a summer wind op. I’ll take a big chunk out of Kingswell Theatre at 13/2