3.10pm Southwell Tips & Betting Preview 02/01/2017

A large field of 14 go to post for this Class 4 handicap over 7f in the penultimate race at Southwell today worth £5,175 to the winner. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: Macho Mac comes into this off the back of an impressive win on his first visit to this track and his top trainer will have high hopes he can go in again despite his hefty penalty. He can go close along with War Department who remains on the same mark after his good third at Newcastle last time out. They should fight it out for the minor honours behind HARWOODS STAR who has been a good runner up on his last two starts over shorter trips and the way he was finishing last time, he could be tough to beat now stepped back up to 7f.

1 War Department – Won at Newcastle in August over 7f in minor company and ran well to finish a close up third of 13 in a handicap at Newcastle eighteen days ago having started slowly. Has an unchanged mark for this and no reason to think he won’t go well from again off an unchanged mark and a decent draw out wide but may find a couple too good for win purposes. Strong place claims.

2 Lady Lydia – Two career wins when trained by Conrad Allen in minor events. Been contesting up to Group 3 level recently and only sixth of 11 in better company at Lingfield thirty three days ago on her first start for this yard. Makes her fibresand debut today and this is easier but strike rate at this level off-putting for win purposes and others are preferred today.

3 Westwood Hoe – C&D winner just over a year ago and hasn’t won in eight runs since. Finished tailed off in last of 13 runners at Newcastle over this trip eighteen days ago. On a workable mark at present and good draw out wide in Stall 14 but needs first time blinkers to do the trick and looks held by a few of these on current form.

4 Red Touch – Landed back to back wins at this course in March up to 1m achieving a mark of 80 in the process and put up 6lb after the second win, he ran well to finish second in similar company next time out. Back down to a mark of 80 now after two mediocre runs but has been off since May and best watched on reappearance for all that he showed good progression in those last three runs on this surface.

5 Sands Chorus – Ended a losing streak of fourteen runs since scoring in a minor event at Pontefract (Heavy) in April when landing a similar handicap at Wolverhampton three weeks ago. That race has thrown up an impressive winner at this track yesterday and has his first try at this trip in nearly two years. Not ideally drawn in Stall 1 and hard to fancy having gone up 3lb for that win (never won off a mark this high before).

6 Masarzain – Previously trained by Owen Burrows and a fair winner when getting up to win by a neck on his fourth career start in a maiden at Catterick (Good/Soft) in September. Went up 4lb for that win and has failed to fire in two starts at this level since, including when eighth of 10 at Chelmsford on his first run for the yard last time out. Still lightly raced and can get involved today if putting his best foot forward on his fibresand debut. Interesting if the market speaks in his favour.

7 Boots And Spurs – Has won over this course before over 1m and has scored two wins from 16 runs this year. Disappointing when only eleventh of 14 over this C&D twelve days ago and has a decent draw out wide but strike rate off putting for win purposes and others look more persuasive today. Due to run in the 2.20 at this track yesterday.

8 Rockley Point – Canford Cliffs gelding and got off the mark at the tenth time of asking when just getting up to win by ¾ of a length at Chelmsford in October. Fair form in two runs at this level returned to that course since, including when runner up on his next start there but not so good when only seventh of 10 on last start. Needs more to win from a 2lb higher mark than his last victory and others more persuasive today.

9 Among Angels – Losing streak stretches eleven runs to 2015 and has switched yards now having previously been trained by Kevin Frost. Looked well below form when only third of 7 in a claiming event at Newcastle seventeen days ago when blinkered for the first time and hard to fancy wearing them again today.

10 Nag’s Wag – Two wins last year including one over turf and on the AW at Kempton in August. Put up 4lb for that win and struggled in the same grade next time out when last of 6 at Wolverhampton coming back from a four month break. Should be sharper today on her fibresand debut but didn’t get home over this trip last time out and plenty to find on current form.

11 Harwoods Star – Has won on this track four times now up to 6f and been in consistent form recently, finishing runner up on his last two starts on this course at that shorter trip. Looked as if the return to 7f will suit after making good late headway last time out and remains on an unchanged mark of 72 today. Every chance of going one better with headgear staying on and a big player from a decent draw in Stall 9.

12 Macho Mac – Got off the mark at the seventh attempt when a ready winner over C&D by six lengths on his first visit to this track, powering clear in the straight. Up 13lb for that win and remains on a handy weight of 8-13 so possible his top trainer can squeeze more out of him given they do so well with their runners on this track. Solid place claims from a good draw out in Stall 10.

13 Showing Off – Previously trained by Henry Candy for whom he scored one win at Goodwood (Good) in April. Has been well beaten in four starts for his current yard and can be ruled out with confidence making his fibresand debut today.

14 Custard The Dragon – Ran a career best to finish a nose in front of Unnoticed when landing a minor event over C&D twenty days ago. Up 3lb for that win and stepped up in grade today. Comes into this in good form but likely to find a few too good in this.

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