This is quite a competitive maiden over a mile at Southwell, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: This maiden is unlikely to produce any future superstars and it could be worth sticking with HE’S A LAD. He looked unsuited by the drop back in distance here last time out although he seemed fine with the surface so he’s given another chance now back up in trip at a fair price. The obvious danger is Whosyourhousemate but he was sent off 50/1 on debut and his liking for the surface has to be taken on trust. Any market support for Clock Chimes would be very interesting and should be respected for a shrewd stable.
1 CLOCK CHIMES – David Brown has an excellent record at Southwell (32% strike rate, a £10.43 profit) and he runs an interesting Foxwedge gelding here. He was picked up for £36,000 as a 2yo and must be a nice enough type to fetch that figure at the sales although he’ll have to be race fit here against some already raced rivals. Foxwedge is a relatively new sire so it’s tricky to know how his progeny will fare on the fibresand but he’s definitely of interest if there’s good market support.
2 HE’S A LAD – Andrew Balding won this contest last year but his Lilbourne Lad colt has to do a little more here to win this. He was one paced when finishing fifth of ten over 7 furlongs here back in February and he looked as if a step back up to a mile would be more in his favour. There has been plenty of money around for him on his last couple of starts sent off at 5/2 and 3/1 and he’s likely to be prominent in the betting again. He’s got a leading chance here but he has to do more now stepped back up in trip and kept on the fibresand.
3 LAST CHANCE PADDY – Alan Swinbank has been in very good form of late with two winners from his last four runners and he saddles a first time gelding here. He’s the son of a Kentucky Derby third and he’s related to a US dirt winner so he should handle the fibresand on his debut here albeit it’s a slightly different surface. The market will be the best guide to his chances but on pedigree alone, this 30,000GNS purchase isn’t without a chance here. Interesting.
4 STRAGAR – Silvestre De Sousa continues to be in good form (6 winners from his last 23 rides) and he partners another racecourse debutant here. On breeding he’s not without a chance although his sire Delegator hasn’t produced many All-Weather types and the market will be a good guide for a trainer that does very well here. He was only bought for 800GNS as a yearling so perhaps he’s best watched on racecourse debut having been gelded since.
5 SUNOVAREBEL – Most experienced runner in this field with four runs to his name but he looks very vulnerable to any sort of modest type in this. He’s been well-beaten in all four starts to date and doesn’t look to be improving and he’s now stepped back up in trip here to a mile. This is his first time on the fibresand although the handicapper has given him a rating of 60 which leaves him 16lbs wrong at the weights with He’s A Lad. Best avoided today and one for handicaps later down the line.
6 WHOSYOURHOUSEMATE – Ed Vaughan hasn’t raced many horses here (1 winner from 11 starts) but he saddles an interesting sort today. He finished behind a subsequent winner on debut and the winner that day has since gone on to be competitive off a mark of 87. He should know a lot more about the game today and he’s got a very good chance if he handles the fibresand surface. He did start at 50/1 that day so connections will be hoping that wasn’t a one off although a simple reproduction of that effort would be good enough to win this.
7 MELO MAGIC – John Jenkins is the most profitable of today’s trainers at Southwell (£26.10) although it would be a surprise to see his runner win here. She’s a once raced Dick Turpin filly and she finished last of 16 beaten 21 lengths back in August of last year. She’s probably had an issue or two now she returns to the track and she’s definitely best watched on her return to action. The step up to a mile should suit her though.
8 SECRET SALVAGE – Once-raced filly for Jamie Osborne who finished third of 8 on debut. She was sent off 33/1 that day but it was a muddling pace and the form probably isn’t as strong as some of those who have already raced here. The booking of Josephine Gordon is an obvious positive and she does get 5lbs from the field although her trainer has only had 5 winners from 54 attempts here with a strike rate of 9% and she’s worth opposing on the back of that.