First among equals

  • By: Ian Brindle
  • Last Updated: January 4 2013, 10:36 GMT

Ian Brindle picks out a best bet, a longshot, and a horse in focus to consider ahead of today's action.

Brian Hughes: Rides Sleep In First at Musselburgh

Best Bet: Sleep In First 1.40 Musselburgh

James Ewart's gelding was spectacularly well backed ahead of a race at Sedgefield where the second has gone on to run well since.

In truth, he probably doesn't have the speed to be a factor over the smaller obstacles but he gets the chance to try his hand over fences off the same mark, and this looks to be a solid opportunity to get off the mark against some very exposed rivals.

Long Shot: Bubbly Ballerina 5.00 Wolverhampton

A winner over five furlongs at Lingfield, Alan Bailey's filly is no stranger to six having won over the trip at Chester.

She was probably given too much to do on her last visit to Dunstall Park, and this looks an obvious opportunity to atone for that miss off a mark that is 7lb lower than she was at this stage of last year.

Horse In Focus: On The Hoof 12.00 Wolverhampton

Mick Easterby's gelding bids for his fourth win in succession in the opener of a 15-race jamboree at Dunstall Park.

Owned by Chubby Chandler and Lee Westwood, he's shown remarkable improvement since switching to the Polytrack with victories obtaining between seven and nine furlongs.

This will be no gimme as Caledonia Prince went close over C&D last week and the combination of Joe Fanning and first time visor look a statement of intent.

With connections represented in the Tolworth Hurdle by Golden Hoof, this could be a nice hors d'oeuvres to the Sandown showpiece.

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