Southwell is still getting worn in since the track reopened with its new Tapeta surface. There is confidence that once the Tapeta is bedded in, Southwell will be the finest all-weather course in the country. Batocchi is one horse who’s yet to taste defeat at the East Midlands track this year and he runs in the 6.30 on Tuesday. This four-year-old gelding is ahead of the curve and has already established the new Southwell as his second home.
Batocchi’s winning sequence began in December last year with his first taste of the Tapeta there. He is now three from three at Southwell and two from two in 2022. Owners Team Given 4 must be very proud of their charge as this horse has carried their colours to glory every time they’ve been represented at the track this year.
The gelding’s exploits have seen him rise 8lb up the handicap in the last two months having begun the year on a mark of 51. All three victories have been by a winning distance of less than a length and he gives the impression he only just does enough to win, saving a bit for himself. Consequently it’s reasonable to expect that there’s more to come from him and he should be far enough ahead of the handicapper to get his head in front yet again.
His first win of the year came in January at the expense of no less than three subsequent winners. He did well to win as he raced freely, expending energy trying to go faster than his jockey wanted him to. He found plenty at the end staying on strongly at the end of the 1m4f trip. Victory number two came 18 days ago in exactly the same style as the first.
Despite racing keenly, it takes him a few strides longer to get going when the pace quickens at the business end of the race. His finishing power suggests that this new trip of 1m6f will suit and the biggest threat to his chances is his own keenness. There is every chance that Batocchi can make it a 2022 hat-trick for his owners by taking home the spoils.
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