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Lightening is ready to strike after long wait

By Chris Wilson

Lightening Rod can arrest a long losing streak at Sedgefield today. Mick Easterby's 11-year-old has not won for nearly two years, but he is handicapped accordingly and appears to be coming back to hand judged by a decent effort at Wetherby.

Greenall rides and expect his wily trainer to have him cherry-ripe for the Bank's Amber Handicap Hurdle which can be his first win since December '14.

Rock The Kasbah has an awful lot going for him in a hot-looking Harry Dutfield Memorial Novices' Chase at Exeter.

The Grade Three-winning hurdler really caught the eye on his fencing debut at Chepstow in October, when he jumped well en route to a two-length defeat of Our Kaempfer.

It was a race which has worked out very well indeed as the fourth horse home, Clan Des Obeaux, absolutely hosed up at Newbury last week and looks one of the brightest young prospects in Paul Nicholls' yard.

Rock The Kasbah was then sent into action at Cheltenham, where he contested a two-and-a-half-mile novice chase that has produced countless top-notchers.

Philip Hobbs' six-year-old could only finish third behind the exciting O O Seven, but the ground was relatively quick that day, which did not help his cause by any stretch of the imagination.

It was also nice to see Rock The Kasbah stay on late in the piece, which will give his trainer a few more options for later in the season.

This race is usually won by a good one, but the Hobbs runner - with champion jockey Richard Johnson aboard - would not look out of place on the roll of honour from what we have seen so far.

Grade Two honours up for grabs at Sandown, where Coeur Blimey can strike a blow for relatively-unheralded Devon trainer Sue Gardner.

Gardner adores this five-year-old, and it is easy to see why after claiming the scalp of subsequent Champion Bumper hero Ballyandy at Ascot last December.

He never quite carried it though at the Cheltenham and Punchestown festivals, but reports from the Gardner team suggest Coeur Blimey has been working like an absolute dream ahead of his hurdling bow.

The Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle does not look a particularly vintage renewal, yet the selection should still be available at good odds against penalised horses.

DUNDALK: 5.30 Idyllic Acrylic, 6.00 Mulzamm, 6.30 Iskandar Prince, 7.00 Rock In Peace, 7.30 Pyla, 8.00 Almoner, 8.30 Poitin, 9.00 Mademoiselle Penny

EXETER: 12.20 Samson, 12.55 Opening Batsman, 1.30 Vice Et Vertu, 2.05 Gonnabegood, 2.40 Wistari Rocks, 3.15 Rock The Kasbah, 3.50 Amoola Gold

LIMERICK: 11.45 Clara Sorrento, 12.15 Cadmium, 12.45 Cadeau Du Bresil, 1.20 Hurricane Darwin, 1.55 Canny Tom, 2.30 For Sinead, 3.05 Irish Bulletin, 3.40 Sense Of Urgency

SANDOWN: 12.40 More Buck's, 1.15 Dino Velvet, 1.50 Antartica De Thaix, 2.25 Coeur Blimey, 3.00 Gores Island, 3.35 Swincombe Toby

SEDGEFIELD: 12.00 Hey Bob, 12.30 Dick Darsie, 1.05 On The Road, 1.40 LIGHTENING ROD (NAP), 2.15 Halcyon Days, 2.50 Royal Supremo, 3.25 Haighall

WOLVERHAMPTON: 4.10 Indigo Princess, 4.40 Mustarrid, 5.10 Italian Beauty, 5.45 Ubla, 6.15 Aguerooo, 6.45 Paper Faces, 7.15 Frozon, 7.45 Condamine

DOUBLE: Lightening Rod, Rock The Kasbah

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