2.10 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 5f
From top draw start Archimedes in this contest over the minimum trip tomorrow. To be drawn low over this CD is a massive advantage as pointed out on this blog several times in the past; drawn in 1 is the cherry on the cake, so to speak.
Archimedes is for many reasons, not only the positive draw, and intriguing individual. For one, he is a course and distance winner – last January he won this exact race off 3lb higher than his current handicap rating. He ran to a whopping RPR of 70 that day (in the context of his official rating).
He backed this up later in the year on turf at Bath on fast ground over 5f, when winning off the same mark running to a similar RPR.
Problems started soon after. He missed plenty of assignments and ran mostly poorly. An issue with his wind was identified and hopefully rectified through a wind OP in November. He returns to the track after a near 100 day long break for his first run after the OP.
Obviously this procedure might not work as hoped, however, given the fact he won this very same race last year, is dangerously well handicapped and has a top draw, in combination one would hope he can return to some sort of last seasons form which would see Archimedes go close.
10pts win – Archimedes @ 12/1 William Hill
3.55 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 1m
Open contest with no standout, however Zorovan, despite tumbling odds, looks still a tasty option.
The 5-year old is a course and distance winner and finished a fine 2nd in a class 4 Handicap over CD subsequently of a mark off 77. Both runs awarded him RPR’s of 81 and 85 and he followed up with a success on turf of a handicap mark off 80 some weeks later.
Racing in strong handicaps of high marks, he couldn’t quite continue to ride the wave of success and hasn’t been in the money ever since.
After a half-year long break he reappeared at Newcastle in December, probably needed the run badly when well beaten. He did a bit better the next time at Chelmsford in a deep race, tiring late.
A return to this course and distance as well as a further 3lb drop in the weights should see Zorovan in much better light, though. It’s Keith Dalgleish’s only runner on the card and a fair 3lb claimer is booked for the ride – a big run is expected here, I feel.
10pts win – Zorovan @ 13/2 PP