Tag Archives: Southwell

Thursday Selections: January, 10th 2018


Hitting the post with two second places on Monday hurt. Both selections run fine races and that is all I can ask for.  On the other hand, given the fact those were runner-up selections number four and five in this still relatively young month, I can’t help but from time to time think “what if”….


6.30 Chelmsford: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

I backed hot favourite Arnarson myself the other day when he got off the mark in impressive style. A 6lb penalty might not be enough to stop him from a repeat effort. However, it was a slowly run affair, particularly early on, so he was potentially flattered by the winning margin. Given his patchy record overall, he can be opposed this time.

I do like, though, the Richard Guest runner Amazing Grazing here. He’s got very little mileage on the clock yet, and has, since getting off the mark, improved with each run.

He broke his maiden tag in a really poor Newcastle maiden in September hence his opening mark of 68 looked a bit extreme to my eyes. That says, back from a little break and for a new yard, he made his handicap debut here at Chelmsford over 7f in December and travelled very strongly, approaching the home straight like the winner.

He subsequently tired in the closing stages and hang badly to the left also, throwing his chances away.

Next time at Southwell, from a wide draw, he was very slowly away and had to do a lot to get back to the field, then travelling wide until switched to the inside around the home turn getting a mouthful of kickback.

Again he travelled strongly, nonetheless, even lead 2f out coming with a huge run, however had to pay for his bad start eventually, finishing a close third.

That was in my book a pretty good performance, taking everything into account, and back to a more familiar surface, over 7f, I feel he could potentially be well handicapped, given his mark has been left untouched so far.

From a good draw, with a yard in good nick, and a good jockey booked for the ride, I think Amazing Grazing can easily outrun his price tag in this field.

10pts win: Amazing Grazing @ 9/1 Paddy Power


Tuesday Selections: January, 9th 2018


12.15 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

It’s rare I bet punt short prices, however, in this case, Acker Bill looks too much of a good thing in this race. The only two rivals in his age group can be easily opposed, while the older rivals have a fair shout if they run to form.

That says, Acker Bill is the lightly raced four year old in the field with plenty of upside judged on his last two performances. It’s a quick turnaround for the son of Rip Van Winkle – he won a Handicap at Wolverhampton over 12f in impressive style only a week ago.

He had no problem overcoming a wide draw and posted impressive sectionals in the context of the race, despite looking a bit raw in the finish. On RPR he ran 10lb higher than his current mark, even including the 6lb penalty.

A month before on handicap debut Acker Bill was probably a bit unlucky not to win. Again he had to overcome a wide draw – the widest in fact, travelled like the winner nonetheless but didn’t quite quicken as needed and took a moment to hit top gear. He was slightly impeded in the closing stages, too.

I like his scopey frame and given recent performances, he should have at least another win in the locker. The switch to Fibresand is the main question mark. The way he usually travells through his races suggests to me he’ll be fine plus his sire has – albeit small sample size – a 75% strike rate in CD Handicaps here.

10pts win – Acker Bill @ 13/8 Bet365


1.45 Sothwell: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 

Drop a pen and you might find the winner of this race. This thing is such a wide open affeir. You can pick holes and question marks into each and every runner. Fitness? Form? Class? Surface? Trip? Age?

Funny, I think the two at the bottom of the weight scale, despite out of the handicap by some pounds, are the most solid options. Both Alpha Tauri and Muqarred have excellent course and distance form.

Age wise I rule out Alpha Tauri, however feel that given the conditions of this race, Muqarred offers value, regardless of the burden being 4lb out of handicap.

His two questions to answers are: can he bounce back from an unusual poor showing a week ago over CD? And is he good enough?

Fact is, Muqarred has won twice- and has been only once outside the first two over the Southwell mile. I can forgive him the run the other day. He probably made too much too early, and the other front-runner faded badly in the closing stages also.

Class wise; well, his success has all come in class 4- or the majority in class 5. Stepping into a class 3 Handicap is tough. He’s probably not well handicapped off 76. But if his consistency counts for something, in a race where there should be a lot of pace early on, the fact he has a super draw in 2 and clearly stays the trip, could be a big advantage when it matters most.

Many others in this field have to prove that they either stay the trip or act on the Fibresand surface. Interesting also, at least class wise, that time speed rating- and RPR rating wise, he is third- and joint-fourth highest in the field, with both ratings having only a few pounds between all runners.

That says, this is a wide open and close call, as initially mentioned. Given Muqarred, despite a long handicap, runs of a feather weight, while having a proven track record. At the given prices, he makes plenty of appeal.

10pts win – Muqarred @ 11/1 Bet365


Saturday Selections: January, 6th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

It hurts if your 40/1 shot gets beaten on the line. Never get too high, never too low… if it would be so easy?! For a moment or to inside the final furlong it looked like Monte Cinq looked would have to enough in the tank to hold on and win. He didn’t. A neck beaten. Autsch.

It didn’t help that Snaffled also finished 2nd and Going Native faltering in the closing stages after a way too aggressive front-running ride.


1.15 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

A prime chance for Toriano to find back to winning ways, if he can build on his fine 4th in a hot class 4 contest at this venue last month.

He made too much over a trip that stretches him in the early parts of the race, but ran well enough in a race that works out really well. A clear return to form in my book.

He drops in trip and gets further help from the handicapper, now back over a CD he’s won before as a juvenile and below his last winning mark.

10pts win – Toriano @ 5/1 Bet365


6.45 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

Trainer Neil Mulholland doesn’t send them over for fun to Kempton in these low grade handicaps, and you got to take them very seriously, indeed.

His inmate American Patrol comes here on the back of a string of poor runs, however there might be fair reasons for it. He didn’t act at Southwell, quite clearly, and neither did softish conditions suit on his sole turf start in 2017.

That says, the Rio De La Plata son looked to have a good deal more to offer than his rating off 55 when he won a Wolverhampton 7f Handicap back in January last year.

He’s down to the very same mark now, only the trip a furlong longer – on pedigree very much possible, and I think he deserves another chance as, for mentioned reasons, runs over a mile before, could be discounted.

10pts win – American Patrol @ 14/1 Bet365


Friday Selections II: January, 5th 2018


2.40 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Speculative given there is no money for him, however long-shot Monte Cinq has been given a big chance by the handicapper, dropping him another 5lb on the back of a string of poor results.

That says, off an already lowered mark, the other day, over 5f here at Southwell, he probably ran a bit better than the bare form suggests.

This race looks a good marker, has been franked in the meantime and Monte Cinq’s run can be upgraded for the fact that he had to make his move on the disadvantaged stands side.

He showed some good performances on the All-Weather last winter, running in much higher grades off bigger marks. If he can find back some spark, now stepping up to 6f, which should suit, he can go close in a race where other than the short priced favourite, not an awful lot makes appeal.

10pts win – Monte Cinq @ 40/1 Skybet


Friday Selections: January, 5th 2018


Dashas gambled from 12/1 into 6/4 at Newcastle yesterday afternoon…. much the opposite way I feared his price would go. Still, not quite good enough to win, eventually. Not quick enough, in fact. Widnes was a non-runner.


12.55 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

I am always keen to watch out for Sean Levey in the saddle in these races over the minimum trip, particularly if riding for David Brown. His record over the years is phenomenal, even more so when riding one of Brown’s.

Three year old son of Camacho, Snaffled, doesn’t make allot of appeal on paper. Five runs, all well beaten, last four starts at odds of 50/1 and higher.

However, there is promise. He finished still a good deal beaten last time out at Newcastle, when fourth in a class 5 Handicap over 7f. However he travelled extremely nicely throughout, showed a bit of class – as much as that is available in these low grades – when switching and changing gear inside the last three furlongs, just to fade out without ever being really touched in the closing stages.

It was an eye-catching run from a visual point of view. Whether the drop in trip to sharp 5f at Southwell is what he wants remains to be seen. It looks, though, as if he has a bit of speed – tactical speed, so to speak – and market confidence plus jockey booking suggests, today is the day this lad is unleashed.

The fact he is now a three year old and maybe needed the time to mature last season, in combination with a drop in class on his handicap debut, means he’s a prime chance in this contest, as long as he takes to the fibresand, which always is a slight risk.

10pts win – Snaffled @ 7/2 Bet365


2.05 Southwell: Class 5 Maiden Handicap, 1m

A mix of unexposed versus well exposed horses piped – one of the three year old’s should have too much upside for the older horses; hopefully that’ll be Southwell debutant Going Native.

She showed some promise in four starts as a juvenile, however changed yards in the meantime and now dropped into a Southwell maiden handicap on what is only her second handicap start, fresh off a break, gives her an ideal opportunity to show she’s worthy her rather highish looking handicap rating.

That says her mark off 68 could easily be underestimating her true potential at the same time, now as a three year old, particularly here at Southwell’s fibresand.

Going Native is quite well bred, by Speightstown, out of a Group 2 placed mare. Speightstown is one of the what I call “super sires” at Southwell; his record with offspring at this track, particularly over the 1 mile trip, is excellent.

When last seen at Lingfield in a 7f Handicap, Going Native made life difficult for herself when starting badly. In the aftermath she never looked happy throughout the race and seemingly found this trip and track way too sharp.

Nonetheless she stayed on really well from an unpromising position and ran the final three furlongs the quickest sectionals. That’s real promise. Up in trip, at Southwell, she should be bang there.

10pts win – Going Native @ 9/2 Skybet

Wednesday Selections – January, 3rd 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

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

Friday Selections: December 29th 2017


2.25 Southwell: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

Competitive race over the minimum trip on the fibresand. I do fancy the chance of eight-year old veteran Brother Tiger.

A 5f furlong specialist, who’s shown his best at Lingfield in the past. He’s been seen only once at Southwell before, back in 2016, when placed over this very same trip.

Back from a break after two below-par efforts ended an until then busy season, potentially he needed it as 2017 was in fact his busiest campaign ever, which in general was a decent one including a Lingfild 5f win in May.

Brother Tiger is down to this last winning mark now and if fit after his break, could play a pivotal role from the perfect draw. The golden highway, those low numbers, and even more the 1 draw, can often be a significant advantage here.

10pts win – Brother Tiger @ 15/2 Bet365