This is a competitive Class 5 sprint at Southwell, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Lisa Williamson’s yard is in good form and RED STRIPES is a very appealing price in this. He looks very well handicapped and did finish fourth in a better grade than this in December and could just be the value here now Jordan Uys claims 7lbs. Treaty Of Rome should be thereabouts again now Derek Shaw looks to have found the key to him although a 5lb rise in the handicap will make life much tougher.
1 CROSSE FIRE – Something of a course specialist having run over this C&D six times since the start of the winter. He started to drop through the handicap and showed he was well treated on his last start when a 1 length second here. The handicapper has nudged him up 1lb which shouldn’t be too detrimental to his chances and his run last time out was good enough to take this having come in a higher grade (Class 3). He’s likely to be prominent in the betting and has a leading chance but the yard has badly struggled for form all season and his trainer has no wins from his last 10 runners and you wouldn’t want to be taking a really short price about him here.
2 KING CRIMSON – He’s shown a fraction of his ability since arriving at John Butler’s yard, beating a measly 7 from a possible 81 opponents over six runs. His mark has now dropped 13lbs down to 69 but the form he has shown of late leaves little room to predict any sort of return to the winner’s enclosure. This is probably the right grade for him and he has a nice draw in stall 3 today although he’s impossible to recommend on recent form. If the money arrives though, he’ll be a serious contender for this yard.
3 WANEEN – 7 lengths behind King Crimson on his last run and another to drop down the weights (68) having fallen 7lbs since November. He’s now back onto his last winning mark and John Egan is back aboard which is a positive having won on him before. He isn’t without a chance here although his career record of 2 wins from 22 starts doesn’t leave much to be desired. He’s drawn in stall 1 and is definitely of interest should there be support in the betting.
4 RED STRIPES – Was rated 86 just last Summer but has sunk down the weights to race off a mark of 67 today. He was well-beaten on his last start when finishing last of 8 at Wolverhampton by 8 1/2 lengths. He was competitive before that in January when only beaten 2 1/4 lengths by a useful sprinter and he could be a threat here if he can bounce back to any sort of form. His trainer has had a winner from her last 5 runners and Jordan Uys gets back on board today to claim 7lbs which makes him very interesting with the visor left on.
5 TREATY OF ROME – Was bought for $2,500,000 as a yearling but has clearly not fulfilled his potential having been sold on for 3,000GNS to Derek Shaw in October 2015. He’s clearly had big issues but he’s been in good heart since arriving at Southwell late last year and has recorded two placed efforts and a win from 6 runs here. He’s kept over C&D which he won over last time out and that looks to be a solid piece of form and he should be capable of following that up with a good performance here. He is raised 5lbs which makes life slightly tougher but his trainer has been in good recent form (2 wins from his last 10 runners, £4.13 profit) and he has a good chance of bettering that record here.
6 POWERFUL WIND – Arrives here badly out of form following two heavy defeats including over C&D. He won off a 5lb higher mark last summer at Nottingham is only starting to come down to a more realistic mark having been raised 7lbs for that success. He has placed over C&D twice before with the last of those runs coming in January off a 9lb higher mark but he’s tricky to recommend today with few positives to pick up on from his last couple of runs and is best avoided today.
7 RYEDALE RIO – One of the most unexposed runners in the field, Tim Easterby’s runner arrives here off a 230-day break and is hard to fancy here. He was beaten over 20 lengths on his last two starts but he’s effectively raised for those efforts now racing on the All-Weather off a mark of 64. His trainer only has a 7% strike rate here and he’s possibly one for later this year when back on turf in weaker company.
8 EVANESCENT – Steps down to the minimum trip today for the first time in his 44-race career and that’ll need to spark some improvement based on recent form. He finished last of 9 back in early January and a 62-day break may have helped freshen him up and he’s not without a chance now racing off a career-low mark but he’s yet to win or place in 5 attempts on the All-Weather and is opposed today.
9 RED INVADER – Bought for £6,500 in September last year and has shown a modest amount of form in three runs for John Butler. He races off just 1lb higher than his last winning mark although this is a step up in grade and he won’t find life as easy now back up into Class 5 company. Liam Keniry retains the ride (0 wins from 18 rides in last 14 days) but he’s hard to fancy upped in grade although his trainer does have a good strike rate here (23%, £5.53 profit to level stakes).
10 MISU MONEYPENNY – Second runner for Scott Dixon here and this 4yo filly looks to be going backwards. She won over C&D on debut and had a good 2yo campaign with a subsequent success and placed effort but she’s barely been able to get involved since. She has been comfortably beaten on her last two runs including over C&D although she does drop another 3lbs in the weights and gets the services of a 7lb claimer which should help her cause. She’s without a win in 11 runs though and may be best watched here.
11 DUSTY BLUE – First-run for Michael Appleby today having transferred from the Tony Carroll yard earlier last month. She’s dropped another 3lbs in the handicap which puts her on a very low weight here although her record on the All-Weather is only 2 wins from 20 starts and her form at Southwell doesn’t look as solid as her turf form. She’s worth keeping an eye on in the betting for a yard that does well here (19% strike rate) although she’s definitely vulnerable to one or two better handicapped rivals.