Beaten on the line…. oh so unlucky, Waarif, this afternoon at Newcastle. No. He wasn’t unlucky. Simply beaten by a better horse on the day. Yes, agonizingly close it was, however Waarif had no excuse and every chance being gifted a soft lead.
3.10 Southwell: Class 6 Claimer, 1m
Not the type of race I tend to find winners, however question marks over each and every single one of this group of largely veterans, makes it an interesting betting proposition.
Favourite Tatlisu can be opposed on the fact he has to overcome two “firsts” in surface and trip, plus does not stand out on ratings as much as the price would suggest.
Last years winner Vivat Rex has a lot to prove after a dismal comeback run, nine-year old Athassel should find the trip too far.
Top weight Pearl Nation has equally to prove that he still wants it. His reappearance in a claimer at Wolverhamption four weeks ago looked only good on paper – a runner-up effort in a poor field suggested he’s nowhere near as good as his handicap rating suggests, and subsequently he bombed out in handicap company.
To be fair, that was a class 4 handicap over sharp 6f – probably beyond him at this stage in his career. However overall hi profile gives me the impression he is still as good as the rest in this field – with the advantage that he clearly loves Southwell and certainly stays the trip, given he is a CD winner.
He’s got to give a bit of weight away, nonetheless, this race seems the best chance for Pearl Nation to find back to the winning ways.
10pts win – Pearl Nation @ 4/1 Bet365
5.10 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 7f
Still a maiden after 14 starts, yet Arnarson heads the market in this race, and is probably still slightly underestimated. While yet to get off the mark, in Handicap company he’s been placed in two from three starts and overall on the All-Weather in 70% of his starts.
His last three starts, all in 6f handicaps, have been more than solid forms, particularly his runner-up- & 3rd placed effort at Chelmsford and Wolverhampton. Those results have been franked and rating wise are strong form, suggesting a win is only a matter of time for Arnarson.
He steps up to 7f here, which should help, given he stays a mile alright. The fact that he is still a colt – the only one in the line-up – and that connections gave him time before to get off in a maiden, and haven’t gelded him yet, gives the impression that Arnarson must show something at home that promises something.
He certainly promises to have a prime chance to win this race, from a fine draw, with seemingly everything in place for a bit performance.
10pts win – Arnarson @ 9/2 Bet365