The ‘lucky last’ at Southwell on Thursday is a nine runner handicap over the seven furlong trip, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Harwoods Star still looks a bit high in the handicap at present though he’s entitled to go well again after hitting the crossbar the last thrice, but this can go to the aptly named VROOM. Gay Kelleway’s four year old has been running consistently well the last three runs, finishing third on all three occasions and not beaten far in any of them. This step up to seven furlongs makes him very interesting as he looks likely to suit based on his staying on effort last time out here over six. He should have scope for further progress at this stage in his career and has to be respected with Rhiain Ingram taking off a useful 5lb.
1 BOOTS AND SPURS – Last win on the all weather came here in January 2016 off a 1lb higher mark than this, though he’s only on this mark after being below his best of three of his last four runs. Never involved on his last start despite finishing fourth of eight, finishing around six lengths behind over the mile distance. Down in grade and impossible to rule out under seven pound claimer Ben Robinson, but others are certainly higher on the list.
2 HARWOODS STAR – Multiple fibresand winner, though his last win came in march over six furlongs here on a 5lb lower mark than today’s. Wasn’t necessarily disgraced on his latest start over C&D when third and only beaten a length in early January. Raised 2lb as a consequence though he’s likely to run well again off this comparable mark with Joshua Bryan taking off 7lb. Has definite claims and has to be respected, though will need everything to fall right.
3 AQUA ARDENS – 1-16 on the all weather with his only win on the all weather surface coming way back in February 2012, and his last win overall came in September 2015 off a 13lb higher mark than today’s. Obviously very well handicapped but he’s not been at his best of late and was a poor eighth at Chelmsford when last see in November (1m, Std). Far too much to prove at present to be backed and likely best watched again today.
4 VROOM – Won here four starts ago over the six furlong trip and hasn’t been disgraced since, finishing a good third over the same C&D in January, not beaten at all far (6f, Std). Still 3lb above his last winning mark but he’s well worth a go at this longer trip as he stayed on well on his latest start here over six furlongs and is likely to improve further for the step up in trip. He should have scope for further progress at this stage in his career and has to be respected with Rhiain Ingram taking off a useful 5lb.
5 FALCAO – Turf winner at six furlongs back in May 2016 when with Edward Lynam but has been well beaten on all three starts for the John Butler yard, struggling to beat a rival at big odds on all three occasions. Now has dropped 9lb in the ratings since starting out but makes little to no appeal again and is likely best watched until he shows some form of note. He’d be a very surprise winner.
6 CALL OUT LOUD – Has been poor in the main lately, with the only exception a surprise win here at the six furlong trip in January (6f, Std). Raised 4lb as a consequence and struggled nine days later when well beaten over the same C&D and drops back down 3lb. If returning to the form of his penultimate outing he’d be very interesting under Alistair Rawlinson but that isn’t guaranteed as he’s not the most consistent of runners for Michael Appleby. Likely to have place claims if back to his best but others make far more appeal for win purposes.
7 EBBISHAM – Winner on both polytrack and turf with his last win coming in November at Kempton over this trip (1m, Std to Slw). Hasn’t necessarily been disgraced the last twice, not beaten far when fifth at Lingfield on New Year’s Eve when last seen. Likely to run well as long as he takes to the fibresand surface and still should have improvement left in him as a lightly raced four year old. Entitled to be in the frame and has to be respected.
8 MONSIUER JIMMY – Triple winner on the fibresand but hasn’t been in the winners enclosure since April which was ten starts ago (6f, Std). Now on a 6lb lower mark but has been very poor the last three times, finishing well beaten at Wolverhampton on his latest start in November (5f, Std). Stepping back up in trip is likely to suit and he has to be considered off this mark, but he’s likely to find a few too good and is consigned to minor honours today.
9 SPOWARTICUS – 3-38 overall with all those wins coming on the all weather, though he hasn’t won since March 2015 which was many, many starts ago. He’s now 7lb below that mark but this will be very tough from outside the handicap but today’s trip will be perfectly fine. Ignoring his latest eight here last week he was in reasonable form and has a good chance of placing if putting his best foot forward today. Can’t be entirely discounted.