Eleven horses line up for this 0-95 handicap over 7f at Southwell today with the winner collecting £9,338 in prize money. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Holiday Magic comes into this in great form having won his last two but having gone up 10lb since the start of those wins he could be vulnerable to a horse like PHILBA. Mick Appleby’s charge appears to be coming into good form following his fine second behind the useful Mithqaal at this course 12 days ago and he could be tough to beat with a small rise in the weights to contend with and for a yard who seem to be hitting their strides now this Winter.
1 Philba – Won over C&D three times last Winter and returned from a break of 206 days two months ago to post a couple of laboured efforts in slightly better company. Left that form well behind when second behind Mithqaal over C&D twelve days ago, going down by two lengths and with a few of these in behind. Yard is hitting good form now on the AW and only 4lb above his last winning mark. Has the early pace to overcome a low draw and best AW form puts him bang there and should make a bold bid of going one better today.
2 Shyron – Has won on the AW six times with an equal number of wins coming at Lingfield and Wolverhampton up to 7f. Tackles fibresand for the first time and needs a bit more now switched to this surface if he is to go on from his second at Lingfield twenty five days ago when only just beaten over 7f.
3 Al Khan – Fair strike rate this year with three wins from 18 races including twice in his last three runs. This is tougher with a 5lb penalty to contend with against better rivals and best watched for the moment unless the market speaks in his favour.
4 Holiday Magic – Fair winner at Class 4 level when trained by Charlie Appleby and belatedly got off the mark for new yard at the eleventh time of asking when juts getting up to win at Wolverhampton three weeks ago. Followed that up with a good effort at Chelmsford next time out, staying on to score by 1½ lengths. This demands more now up 10lb since the start of two wins and no reason to think he won’t go as well from a wide draw now tried on this surface. Claims.
5 Pearl Spectre – Won over 1m in March at this course and followed up back to back wins at Chelmsford last month with three fair runs including an eighth of 14 on last start over C&D twelve days ago (Philba second). Has struggled from a revised mark since and doesn’t look like overturning the form with the selection. NON-RUNNER.
6 Young John – Landed first win on the AW at Newcastle last month over this trip but only mid-division behind Philba on fibresand debut twelve days ago when emptying out a fair way out. Looks held against that one having struggled after going up 4lb for his last win and whilst only a 1lb lower today, can be ruled out.
7 Captain Revelation – Fair strike rate this year with three wins from 15 runs and has won over C&D before. Decent third behind Philba twelve days ago over C&D and only up 1lb today. Entitled to run well again but never won from a mark this high and may find that reopposing rival too good again.
8 Zaeem – Won over C&D earlier this year when a ready five length over 1m albeit against weaker opposition. Found his revised mark too tough to handle upped to this company and back down to 2lb above that last win. Looks up against it even on best form.
9 Showboating – Won over C&D last Summer but hasn’t won in seventeen runs since then. Creditable efforts last Winter but hasn’t shown the same consistency this term and has cheek pieces back on (worn on his last win). Can be overlooked today.
10 Lexington Times – Long losing streak stretches back twenty ruins to last Spring but back down to a decent mark now. Fair fifth behind Al Khan seventeen days ago but a lot more needed in this field even on best form.
11 Boots And Spurs – Only two wins from 16 runs this year including beating Philba over 1m at this course in January. Disappointing when only eleventh of 14 over this C&D twelve days ago and not certain to get in front of that rival today. Has a decent draw out wide but strike rate off putting for win purposes and others look more persuasive today