3.40pm Southwell Tips & Betting Preview 21/02/2017

An interesting eight runner handicap is the order of the day for race four of the day at Southwell, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Although poor for most of this season, ESCALATING is back onto his last winning mark and showed signs of a revival when a close fifth over C&D on his latest start. If building upon that run for the in form Michael Appleby yard he will be hugely dangerous off this mark and could be hard to beat under Lewis Edmunds who is claiming a very useful 5lb. He can see off the challenge of Lady Nayef who continues to be in good form for the John Butler yard.

1 WENTWORTH FALLS – Returned from a long absence on stable debut for this yard in October when well beaten at Haydock (6f, Good) but scored on the second time of asking when winning at Nottingham in November, running on strongly (5f, Good). Raised 3lb as a result on fibresand debut which makes this tougher but he remains with potential for as a lightly raced five year old, and is entitled to put up another good effort as long as he takes to the surface. Likely each way claims under Phillip Makin but may just find one of these too good today.

2 LADY NAYEF – Has been in brilliant form this winter for John Butler with three wins from her last five races, including a C&D win back in January. Despite a 10lb rise for the latest of her victories she wasn’t disgrace to finish a close fourth over C&D in a higher class at the end of January, and her latest effort when third over C&D was another admirable display. Remains on the same mark as that latest third and looks to have excellent form claims once again under Robert Winston. Likely to be on the premises and has to be respected.

3 DUNGANNON – Ten year old who has two C&D victories to his name, the latest of which coming on his penultimate start in selling company when winning comfortably as expected (5f, Std). Back up in class he wasn’t  disgraced to finish fourth over C&D two weeks ago, just behind Lady Nayef and he remains on the same mark for today’s run. As his age improvement is unlikely to be forthcoming but he still continues to put up admirable efforts for Andrew Balding, and has sound place claims again under 7lb claimer Joshua Bryan. Remains vulnerable for win purposes from stall eight though, and others do make more appeal in that sense.

4 CAPTAIN LARS – Ended off 2016 with two victories, the latest of which over C&D in December when running on strongly to snatch it towards the line, ahead of Crosse Fire. He was raised 7lb as a result and couldn’t cope with it over C&D again a week later, well beaten behind Dungannon and Crosse Fire. He has however been given a break since to freshen up and has been dropped 2lb by the handicapper, so has another good chance to go in again for Derek Shaw. Tony Hamilton retains the ride and stall six is unlikely to be an issue and he has to be respected with how well he was running towards the end of last year.

5 ORIENT CLASS – Showing good improvement on turf last year, including a good second at Nottingham in a competitive looking event in October (5f, Soft). He hasn’t however performed well the last twice however, well beaten at both Nottignham and latest over C&D eleven days ago, though he may have needed that run as his return. Nought from five on the all weather and his current mark is now 6lb above his last winning mark on the turf. Likely to need more today and others make more appeal today.

6 ESCALATING – Has been mainly poor since his last win at Nottingham in June (6f, Soft) and as a result is now back down to his last winning mark. He did however shown signs of a revival on his latest start over C&D when a close fifth off today’s mark and with how well the Michael Appleby yard are running at present (seven winners from their last thirty-two), he’s more than likely to build on that run and would be hugely dangerous if he did so. Lewis Edmunds claims a useful 5lb and he likely to be hard to beat today.

7 CROSSE FIRE – Southwell stalwart who has won five times over today’s C&D, and is now 16lb below his last winning mark. Has been running respectably on occasion recently without making it seem as though his time was near again, finishing fourth here over C&D when last seen, never threatening after being outpaced in the early stages. Will need more if he’s to be winning this, and others do have far more interesting claims. Likely to be running on late but only can be put forward for places today.

8 ARCHIMEDES – Won here over C&D in January off a 7lb lower mark but has never been the most consistent of horses and was poor when last seen over the same C&D a week later, finishing sixth and well beaten (5f, Std). Now a pound higher, though retains the assistance of the in form Josephine Gordon to do the steering. Possible place claims if back to form but others make more appeal and likely to find at least one of these too good.

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