1.40 Southwell: Class 3 Handicap, 7f
A quite intriguing contest with a handful of course and distance scorer. It’s easy to see why Westwood Hoe is well fancied though, given he overcame some trouble in a better class over CD three weeks ago. He’s certainly well treated off only 2lb higher today.
Certificate also scored when last time seen, then at Lingfield. He’s trying the fibresand for the first time and that is always a concern but if he handles it he must have a serious shot in this race.
Previous course and distance winners Philba and Showboating can’t be discounted. The former one in particular is progressive on the fibresand and has the advantage of a low weight.
No love in the betting for top weight Al Khan, although he’s also has been successful at Southwell in the past. However the gelding is 5lb above his last winning mark, but managed a head-beaten runner-up effort in a hot Ayr Handicap off his current rating back in September.
Since then Al Khan was largely a disappointment, result wise even though he was never far beaten. When last seen at Lingfield he finished well from an impossible position, suggesting he might be in better form than bare results suggest.
A return to the fibresand may well help him to turn things around. From a good draw he should be able to track the pace which I expect to be red hot, which should suit him perfectly.
Al Khan @ 12/1 William Hill – 5pts Win