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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Buck in the money at SedgefieldHeadlines
Buck Mulligan

Buck Mulligan took advantage of a drop in class to take the feature Jardine Catering Handicap Chase at Sedgefield.

The seven-year-old, not disgraced in better company at Market Rasen and Cheltenham on his last two starts, had been dropped 5lb by the handicapper and punters took the hint as they sent Evan Williams' charge off the 11-4 favourite.

He had to dig deep to see off the strong challenge of No Planning by a neck, with Rich Lord breathing down their necks in third.

The trainer said: "The handicapper has helped us. This horse has been running very well in some races where we weren't getting much leeway. He dropped him 5lb and that made the difference today. The horse deserved it because he is consistent and he is good in his grade.

"I thought he could win a higher class race, but he needed to get his head in front because he might have started to get a bit demoralised, so credit to the handicapper."

Ryan Mania, second on No Planning, still had a good day with a 545-1 double courtesy of Grate Fella and Strobe. He struck first on Grate Fella (25-1), who overturned evens favourite Blackwater King in the British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing EBF 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle.

Sue Smith's four-year-old got the better of a prolonged duel to score by a length and a half.

Strobe (20-1) was always up with the pace as Mania enjoyed a 17-length romp on Lucy Normile's eight-year-old over On Gossamer Wings in the Collins Seafoods Ltd Handicap Chase.

Keen Sedgefield supporter John Wade, local businessman and owner/trainer, enjoyed a birthday winner when his colours were carried to victory by the Chris Grant-trained Alpha One in the Freebetting.co.uk Handicap Chase. Brian Hughes got a good tune out of the 9-4 joint-favourite to score by seven lengths.

Grant said: "It probably wasn't the greatest race in the world, but you can do no more than win. He's run well there before but it's the first time he's won there. I haven't looked any further than today. Now he's won at Sedgefield I wouldn't mind going there again if there's a race to suit."

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