GAMBLE TOUCHED OFF: Shamrock nominated Balladiene (2nd 9-1) as his outsider bet at Roscommon yesterday. The horse was gambled on from 20-1 plus in places in the morning and 16-1 on the track, only to be beaten a neck at 9-1. There is no Irish racing today but Shamrock bets on the Irish connection in England.

If they finish they nearly win. Gordon Elliot’s Perth record last week was a hot 212P12UP20. With one exception, if they stood up, they were in the first two.

One of the Perth winners, Manger Hanagment (3.20), stays on for Sedgefield this afternoon, with Tony McCoy up on the middle one of three mounts for the Co Meath stable.

While the rest of UK races in a drying bog, Sedgefield is applying water. Not too much please for Manger Hanagment, whom we can expect to see out in front from the start.

The exact same, as they say, applies to Russian War (2.50), regarding the ground, as he got well and truly stuck up to the cossacks in the mud at Listowel (didn’t we all). Today’s ground should see him back in the winner’s enclosure, if he can make his experience count over some chase newcomers.

McCoy is 100% on Cape Secret but that was a one-off, and in a seller at that. But there could be multiples money shortening up his chance in the 3.50 handicap, though it looks a really good race.

So hot is it, in fact, that I would rule out the 10-year-olds on this surface; they’ll be struggling for breath. And, though Gulf Punch is reckoned progressive, it’s a tall order for a four-year-old, under a 10lb penalty.

We can expect a fast pace from King Mak, which could play into the hands of three Sedgefield specialists all being claimed off: Mardood, Overbranch and Scotswell, who have shared nine wins on the course.

I shall go for Overbranch, second three weeks ago over CD to the horse which won this race a year ago, Jeu De Roseau. Coincidence or what!
NAP: Russian War (2.50 Sedgefield)
NEXT BEST: Overbranch (3.50 Sedgefield)
OUTSIDER: Duquesa (4.00 Chepstow)
DAQ TRIO: Russian War (2.50 Sedgefield), Manger Hanagment (3.20 Sedgefield), Overbranch (3.50 Sedgfield)