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Double glory push ahead for Norton trainer Brian Ellison
Norton trainer Brian Ellison, two-handed in today's feature race at Sedgefield, is napped to secure top honours.
Ellison saddles both Knightly Escapade and Magic Skyline and the nap vote is awarded to the former, the mount of James Reveley, in the £20,000 Betfred Novices' Handicap Hurdle Final.
The six-year-old will relish the expected good ground at Sedgefield and comes into this valuable race in good heart. He won a jumpers' bumper at Kempton in the hands of Tony McCoy two starts ago and has since finished a respectable third in a Flat handicap at Wolverhampton where he was comprised by the lack of a strong early gallop.
Today's race looks a tight affair, but Knightly Escapade has plenty going for him. He is fancied to beat his stablemate Magic Skyline and also his seven other rivals.
Tim Easterby, whose Getabuzz is among the dangers to Knightly Escapade, can make his presence felt on the supporting card.
The Great Habton trainer has winning chances with Lebanna and Dark Dune.
The mount of Craig Nichol, whose 5lb allowance will come in handy, Lebanna lines-up in the Betfred TV Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle after good efforts to finish second on this coure and third at Wetherby. A race should come his way before too long.
Easterby also runs Dark Dune in the Betfred Mobile Casino Novices' Hurdle and this recent six lengths winner at Newcastle should make a bold bid.
Although perhaps not as visually impressive as Benzanno was when streaking home at Catterick last month, Dark Dune won in fine style and there is more to come from him.
Brian Hughes can clinch the Betfred Handicap Chase on Snuker, trained by James Ewart.
The seven-year-old dug deep when scoring at Carlisle a couple of weeks ago and although he faces a much sounder surface this afternoon, this dour stayer will revel over this marathon trip of three miles and three furlongs.
Broctune Papa Gio was last of four, beaten a long way, at Newcastle on his latest outing at the beginning of the month, but there were mitigating circumstances. That was his first run after a break and it came on ground which would have been too testing for him.
Keith Reveley's gelding is better judged on his fine second-placed effort on this course the time before. If able to reproduce that display, Broctune Papa Gio can go close in the Betfred Mobile Sports Handicap Hurdle.
At Newbury, David Pipe could be a trainer to keep on the right side.
Pipe, who had three Cheltenham Festival winners last week, can score with Thomas Junior in the Hildon 25th Anniversary Handicap Hurdle.
Tom Scudamore's mount finished second at Huntingdon on his latest start which was his first outing since the end of January. The lightly-raced five-year-old has plenty of potential and can step up on this first try at three miles.
Mic's Delight makes plenty of appeal in the Pheasant Inn Handicap Chase.
Denis O'Regan's mount finished third at Kempton on his latest start to Present View, who franked that form when following-up at Cheltenham last week. Mic's Delight is entitled to be involved in the finish of this event on behalf of trainer Vic Dartnall.
2.10 Call Me Vic, 2.40 Mic's Delight, 3.10 Thomas Junior, 3.45 Thanks For Coming, 4.20 Volnay de Thaix, 4.55 Offshore Account, 5.25 Red Devil Lads.
1.50 Lebanna, 2.20 Dark Dune, 2.50 Ben Akram, 3.25 Knightly Escapade (NAP), 3.55 Snuker, 4.30 Broctune Papa Gio, 5.05 Diaktorus.
Today's other meetings
Lingfield and Wolverhampton.
Newbury, Lingfield, Bangor, Kelso and Stratford.
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