2.20pm Southwell Tips & Betting Preview 10/01/2017

Just the eight horses going to post for the feature race at Southwell today, a Class 3 handicap run over 1m. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: Fort Jefferson showed progressive form six months ago winning back to back races and if ready to go after that lay-off he can run well today. He will need a career best however to get his head in front of MITHQAAL who was impressive last time out in a slightly better race, powering clear to win by two lengths over Course and Distance and this step up in trip looks right up his street with his yard in good form recently. He should be tough to beat in his bid for a double.

1 Mithqaal – Three time winner from 10 runs last year including a valuable Class 2 handicap at Newmarket in September from a mark of 71. Ran a career best last time out over Course and Distance by two lengths and has been put up 6lb for that win but the manner of his victory suggests there is more to come at this trip (has won up to 1m1f) and the surface should hold no worries given he was bought for the All Weather. Mick Appleby has a 15% strike rate in the last fortnight and his jockey Andrew Mullen is also operating at 18% in the same time so should have a big chance of following up in this weaker race with plenty more in the tank on the evidence of his last run. Big player.

2 Briardale – Three wins from 14 runs last including wins in this grade and at 1m. Went up 6lb after winning at York in July and has struggled at this grade in two tries since including when a well beaten sixth of 13 at Newcastle last month. Behind the reopposing Mithqaal in a Class 2 at Newmarket in September and given the recent form of that one and that he tries this track and fibresand for the first time today, he looks up against it from a career high mark of 85.

3 Vivat Rex – Five time winner including twice over Course and Distance – one a tough claiming race last time out. Carries a 6lb penalty for that win (has won form this mark before carrying the same penalty) and his trainer is keen to let him take his place in this given his liking for Southwell but he has never won above a Class 4 and having his first run for this yard today he is best watched for now.

4 Captain Revelation – Two time Course and Distance winner and won over 7f in a Class 4 three starts ago on this course. Put up 4lb for that win but behind Mithqaal next time out over that trip upped in grade. Tom Dascombe has been in fine form this year with a healthy 31% return but he was well beaten kept to the same grade last time out and will need a career best from a mark of 83 in order to win this.

5 Showboating – Has won over C&D before but is on a losing run of 18 races and has never won above a Class 4. Well behind Mithqaal two starts ago when ninth of 14 in a better race than this. Has been rated as high as 90 but on a mark of 82 for this (5lb above his last winning mark) and despite the trainer’s grandson Lewis Edmunds (29% in the last two weeks) taking off a valuable 7lb he is likely to be a big price for this and can be ruled out today given he has underperformed on his last three visits here.

6 Fort Jefferson – Lightly raced with seven career starts and won his last two in Class 5 company up to 1½m. Been off the track for six months but has been working well at home and entitled to take his place in this grade after those two wins. Makes his fibresand debut today and worthy of attention in the betting despite a career high mark of 77. Claims.

7 Boots & Spurs – Won this race last year from an identical mark of 77 but hasn’t won in thirteen runs since scoring at Doncaster (Good) in June. Been well beaten in his last three tries at this trip and was well beaten in lesser company last time out over 7f on this course. Yard only 11% this year and 0-11 in the last fortnight. Hard to see him taking this for a second year in a row.

8 Restive – Run up to Pattern race level in Ireland when trained by Ger Lyons but only maiden win to his name on his third start. Dropped down to a mark of 75 now (has been rated 90) but a well beaten 11th of 12 on his first run for Iain Jardine at Wolverhampton last time out. Yard at 21% in the last two weeks but hard to see this one winning today.

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