Good morning all,
Rory is on William Hill Radio for the next couple of days and I’m at Southwell doing the pre-race previews, so that’s where I’ve concentrated my efforts. Sadly, I don’t think there are any big priced winners in there but I’ve included my write up for four races anyway, and there’s one bet on the card for me. Plus, a piece of info on one at Carlisle for you to read, although again the price is now a bit short for our liking.
3.45 Southwell – 2pts win Hurricane Vic (9-4 William Hill, Betfred)
The ground is likely to ride nearer soft than good to soft by racetime, I believe, with another 2mm of rain due this morning.
12.30 – 2m7f 209yds Handicap Chase
No shortage of pace on here with Cross To Boston and Kilcasan both likely to make the pace, and Urban Gale shouldn’t be far away from the front. A solid gallop will play into the hands of top weight MOORLANDS GEORGE, a thorough stayer in soft ground and is probably still improving. His distant third at Newton Abbot last time is easily forgiven as the ground was probably too quick for him, and if you concentrate on his efforts on good to soft/soft over fences, he comes out with form figures of 33123 and looks very solid indeed.
Mission Complete may well be the danger if he’s on a going day – he’s clearly regressing but goes well for Jack Savage (he’s been runner up on him four times from six rides) and races in Class 5 company for the first time in three years. He may be able to keep pace with these a little easier, although he’ll always need plenty of chivvying along, but the bottom line with him is that he’s very hard to win with, and he’s far more likely to hit the frame than win. Quicker ground may suit him better, too.
The rest are much of a muchness, although any money for Double Dan might be interesting. A winner of two (poor) points in Ireland, making the running on both occasions, he’s shown little for Alex Dunn so far but the application of blinkers might suggest he’s going to get a more positive ride today. The yard aren’t stupid and know what their horses are capable of, and in a weak event, a market move would make him worth a second look.
1.00 – 2m7f 209yds Handicap Chase
Still Believing looks short enough at 7-4 given she’s still a maiden over fences, and although Evan Williams has found a weak enough race for her to try and rectify that, she’ll need to be foot perfect as DISTRACTED looked much improved when making all at Newton Abbot on her latest start, jumping well in the main and not looking in any danger of defeat throughout the last mile. A 9lb rise demands more, but according to her trainer she wants soft ground and a trip, both of which she’ll get again today, and with no other obvious front runner in the field she can dominate proceedings again here.
Rosa Fleet looks on a reasonable mark on the best of her hurdles form, but she’s likely to need this and hasn’t conclusively proved she wants 3m either.
1.30 – 2m4f 62yds Handicap Chase
I can’t have Roberto Pegasus at all, given how he blundered his way around when winning at Plumpton and then unshipped his rider at the first at Haydock on his subsequent start. These Southwell portable fences take some jumping and catch plenty out, and he simply does not appeal as the type to do well over fences. There’s undoubted ability but whether fencing will show it off, well, time will tell, but at 3-1 he’s easily passed over.
Lac Sacre comes out pretty well on the figures, with soft ground almost a necessity for him, but he’s another that finds winning hard and is more likely to place than win. That makes him of interest for exotics, but not for the win.
The two to concentrate on for victory would appear to be Simply Wings, who can’t have it soft enough, has gone well fresh in the past, with Kerry Lee settling into the swing of things now and is having winners, and BENEFIT CUT, who we mentioned for his comeback race at Worcester in September and duly ran well. He’s been nudged up a couple of pounds for that but still looks on a good mark and this step back up in trip looks a good move. He’s every chance of getting to the front and making all (only Ladfromhighworth may challenge him for the lead, but the ground is totally against him) and backing Stuart Edmunds runners here at Southwell is already showing a good level-stakes profit.
3.45 – 2m4f 62yds Handicap Hurdle
This is dreadfully weak, and how HURRICANE VIC only has to give 5lb to some very moderate and fully exposed horses is something of a mystery. First time up last season he finished eighth to Hello George in one of the hottest Novice Hurdles around at Exeter (all seven horses in front of him were winners later in the season, including third placed Aso, who won a Grade 2 at Haydock) and followed that up with a second to the useful Brother Tedd at Kempton, where he was the only one to give the winner a race. Things didn’t quite work out for him after that, although he was far from disgraced in subsequent efforts, and this much easier contest looks a tremendous chance to score. He’s already got two speed figures on the board that would win this, and with the potential to do better this year as he fills his (large) frame, this is just a case of him being fit enough to dispose of a modest bunch.
Carlo Rocks is at least unexposed and having run his best race to date here, and that on soft ground, at least has that going for him and can do better this year. Double Court is only four and has time on his side, but his jumping technique is dreadful and he can’t be touched until that improves.
4.00 – 2m1f NH Flat Race
Now, we’re a little wary here, as the last time we passed on information regarding one in a Bumper was back in April when we heard that one of Harry Fry’s horses was head and shoulders above the opposition in a bumper specifically for horses that had been in point-to-points, and he was stuffed out of sight. However, in our defence, the horse in question (Charmix) has since won a good Novice Hurdle at Wetherby at the first time of asking, so in fairness it’s entirely possible that the info was half-decent and Charmix simply didn’t perform on the day.
However, we’ll pass on what we’ve heard and you can do as you see fit with it. It’s been well backed already, and the horse in question is Threeways, travelling over from Ireland from Ronald O’Leary’s County Clare base. Ronnie is 2-2 in bumpers here at Carlisle and it’s to be remembered he was in charge when Fascino Rustico won his bumper here back in 2012 before being sold on the week after at Brightwells to Paul Nicholls for over 300,000 Guineas.
And what we hear is that’s the plan again – Brightwells have a sale at Cheltenham on Friday after racing, and they have been contacted by the trainer to try and reserve a “wildcard” space for this one, as you can’t enter the sale until you’ve had a run. So seemingly the plan is to win here, go to Brightwells and sell it on for a lot of money, very much his modus operandi with horses in his own or his wife’s colours.
David & Rory