Tuesday’s Daily Double – 8/1 double covering races at Punchestown and Sedgefield

Jon Vine rolls his NAP of the day and his Next Best into this double, featuring runners at Punchestown and Sedgefield on Tuesday 26th November.

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1:40pm Sedgefield I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle 2m5½f

Willie Mullins trains the two at the head of the market for this maiden hurdle. Paul Townend, who’s been beaten twice already on Drury, opts to ride MINELLA ENCORE (NB) and they should get this double off to the perfect start.

Minella Encore progressed nicely during his bumper campaign in 2017/18, beating strong horses on his opening couple of starts before placing fourth in the Grade Two at the Dublin Racing Festival. Like many of Willie’s horses, Minella Encore didn’t appear at all last season, but he should really relish this extended trip on his first start over hurdles and soft ground shouldn’t be an issue. He could progress onto a good level as a novice hurdler.

2:50pm Sedgefield carpetgallop.co.uk Chase (A Novices’ Limited Handicap) (Class 3) 2m

Dr Richard Newland will be hoping first-time headgear will see a sharp improvement in Rose Sea Has, who was beaten 23-lengths off this mark last month. Joke Dancer and The King Of May are respected too, but I’ve been impressed with the consistency TONTO’S SPIRIT (NAP) has shown over fences and the form of his course-and-distance victory here is working out really well.

After losing out to his rival by a narrow margin earlier in the summer, Dianne Sayer’s seven-year-old turned the tables on Nietzsche here in October, proving he could deal with soft ground in the process. Although there were only four runners in that handicap, third-placed Saint Freulle and the fourth, River Frost have both come out and won well since, and both were gaining almost a stone from Tonto’s Spirit at the weights here at Sedgefield.

Sayer’s charge is now three-from-six over the larger obstacles and has won twice on the back of similarly long lay-offs. Tonto’s Spirit should be a big player once again.

1:30pm Drinmore Novice Chase (Grade 1) 2m4f

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