3.00pm Southwell Tips & Betting Preview 29/12/2016

Fourteen horses go to post for this 0-80 Sprint handicap over 5f in the penultimate race at Southwell today worth £7,876 to the winner. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: A few with chances in this and Captain Lars comes into the race in good form having won at Wolverhampton last time and as long as his penalty doesn’t hinder him, he should go well again. Ticks The Boxes looked to have any amount in hand last time and has the beating of some of these judged on that form. He can run another big race if getting over his wide draw but a chance is taken on BOLD who is tried at this trip for the first time, having won a shade cosily after making all at Kempton last time and he could be dangerous if allowed a soft lead again given he is slightly better drawn than Ticks The Boxes. He shades the verdict in an open race.

1 Invincible Ridge – Four time winner in sprints over turf including his latest win at Ayr (Good) in August. Landed a couple of races over this trip at Wolverhampton two years ago but first run on this surface since last Spring left a lot to be desired and hadn’t figured in three runs on turf prior to that. On a decent mark now but has too much to prove right now.

2 Monumental Man – Broke a losing streak of seventeen runs to land a twelve runner handicap in a similar race at Chelmsford three weeks ago benefiting from being held up. Only up 2lb for that win and entitled to go well again given he has been consistent since September but has a difficult draw to contend with in Stall 11 and others looks to have stronger form at present.

3 Borough Boy – Won over 6f at this track in February, coming from the rear to win comfortably by five lengths. Not been at his best on his last two starts at this trip and recent couple of runs over 6f have been uninspiring and now 6lb higher than his last winning mark. Can be overlooked in this and looks the stable second string with them also running Captain Lars.

4 Captain Lars – Previously with Mike De Kock and landed back to back wins in 1m seller/claimer last Winter when sent off favourite for both, at Lingfield and then over this track. Strung together a few consistent results recently culminating in a 1½ length victory in a field of nine at Wolverhampton a week ago over 5f. Up in grade slightly today and 6lb penalty to carry but has won from 4lb higher and should go well from a moderate draw in Stall 7. Claims.

5 King Crimson – Only won once on the AW at Wolverhampton earlier this year albeit in slightly better company and last win came at Brighton (Good/Firm) in August, just getting up to win by ½ length. Decent enough draw in Stall 4 and back down to a handy mark for this (has won from a similar mark earlier in his career) but recent AW runs have been dismal and finished last of 9 on last start at Kempton on his last start. Looks well held by a few of these.

6 Spiraea – Four time turf winner on varying ground at 6f. Last win came at Pontefract (Good/Soft) fifteen months ago and returned in July after an eight month break to only finish down the field in two runs. Returning after a break of five months today and makes his AW debut today on his first start for the yard. Best watched for now unless the market speaks in his favour.

7 Bold – Lightly-raced 4-y-o and two time winner at Kempton up to 7f. Returned from a break of three months to land a less competitive eleven runner handicap by ¾ of a length last month. Only gone up 3lb for that win but his jockeys claim negates that and makes his fibresand debut today. Should continue to go well if able to get in a good position from his poor draw out wide in Stall 12 and interesting dropped to this trip for the first time. Player.

8 Ticks The Boxes – Lightly raced 4-y-o and three time winner including two on the AW. Ran a career best to score with authority in lesser company nine days ago at this course, staying on strongly in the final furlong to win by 3 ¼ lengths. Looked to have a lot in hand that day and has won in much better company when trained by Clive Cox two years ago. Claims if able to navigate past Stall 13.

9 Crosse Fire – Five time C&D winner and won this last year from a 5lb lower mark. Been off the boil for a while now, starting very slowly in a few of his last starts and finishing down the field in his last six runs including when tenth of 13 behind Ticks The Boxes over 6f nine days ago on this course. Yard have won this twice in the last three years and is now 13 pounds lower than when winning over C&D off 85 in March. Appears to be the stable first string on jockey bookings as they also run Penny Dreadful. Hard to fancy in current mood but he is absolutely thrown in if all goes to plan.

10 Piazon – Been in fine form recently winning twice over C&D on his last two starts albeit in weaker races. Joshua Bryans’ 7lb claim effectively cancels out his penalty and should continue to give a good account in his bid for a hat-trick but this is tougher and badly drawn in Stall 14.

11 Red Stripes – Landed his first career victory on this course early last year but hasn’t won in fourteen runs since winning a better race at Chelmsford a year ago. Almost back to a winning mark in this grade but needs more to win despite a decent inside draw and others look more persuasive today.

12 Clubland – Has twice won over this C&D but last win came at this track over 6f in February. Didn’t fare too well over that trip when only seventh on his last at this course sixteen days ago and best watched for now.

13 Penny Dreadful – Long losing streak now stretches fifteen runs to last year and never really got into the race when only sixth of 8 on his last start on this track over 1m sixteen days ago. Trainer has won this twice in the last three years and he is on dangerous mark but looks the stables second string and likely to struggle dropped back down to this trip (never won over 5f). Blinkers on for the first time.

14 Secret Clause – Lightly raced 3-y-o and twice a winner on turf. Placed on his first AW start last Summer but had only one behind when twelfth of 13 to Ticks The Boxes nine days ago and looks well held by that reopposing rival.

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