2.55 Southwell: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 4f
Michael Appleby has a 22% strike rate in handicaps at Southwell with horses running for the first time for him, so that makes High Command an interesting contender.
The latest performances are concerning, though. A long beaten 5/2 four of five in claimer at Wolverhampton is the latest of below-par performances. One has to bank on Appleby’s magic hands.
On the other hand, what also could lead to a change in fortunes is the return to the Southwell fibresand. High Command is 2/2 here, including a CD success and dropped 2lb lelow his last winning mark.
From a good draw, a horse who likes to go forward, he may use his stamina to stretch the field and make use of the good mark, if rejuvenated by the change of yard.
10pts win – High Command @ 7/1 MB
6.25 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 6f
New headgear combination for Fink Hill. How that works remains to be seen. He’s drifting in the market, so that’s a negative. He also has an engagement in a couple of days, which is interesting. So is that jockey Charles Bishop comes here for this one ride only, which is a positive.
Since winning a 5f sprint at Southwell in hands of Bishop, Fink Hill has been on a downward curve. A subsequent 6th, 3l beaten at Wolverhampton under a penalty was still a fair effort, but he was a long way down the field the next three times.
A return to this course and distance is interesting: arguably his best career performance came here in a few years ago, when 3rd of a mark of 70, running to a TS rating of 61.
So, dropping down to a mark of 60 over this CD in a weakish class 6 Handicap a return to form isn’t out of question today.
10pts win – Fink Hill @ 22/1 MB