Ross Brierley’s Blog + a 44/1 Each Way Double

Southwell Racecourse

The myracing show smashed in the winners last weekend. The three tips (Ross, Nat and myracing’s) for the International Hurdle at Cheltenham finished 1-2-3 with anyone who put them together as a tricast rewarded at more than 800/1! Host, Ross Brierley, joins us again for the second instalment of his blog, including free horse racing tips for Southwell and Chelmsford on Thursday.

Goodbye Fibresand

The news this week that Southwell will rip up its Fibresand surface and replace it with Tapeta, to bring it in line with fellow All-Weather tracks Newcastle and Wolverhampton, brought a tear to the eye of many a punter with fond memories of course specialists and gambles landed over the years.

That said, the Midlands venue is the very height of horse racing Marmite, with as many haters as lovers lined up to comment. I’m sure some jockeys too, sick to the back teeth of sand being kicked in their faces and horses refusing to take to the surface before tailing off, beaten further than some handicap chasers, might well be thrilled to bits with the change in direction.

Whatever happens, it’s a damn shame, and I for one will be sad to see it go. With UK horse racing famed for its diversity, it’s a shame to see such a specialist course simply blend into the background.

If anyone is interested, I will be holding a springtime memorial for the surface just outside the Cathedral in the centre of the village. Chunks of Fibresand will be thrown in our faces as a ritual goodbye for anyone who is interested. Free entry if you are American bred.

As much as I’ll miss it, recent meetings at Southwell, since they started staging more of them under the floodlights, have been a bit hit and miss with a lot of short-priced fancied runners winning. No good for a value seeker like myself.

5.45 Southwell – #betyourway At Betway Handicap

Speaking of which, Spring Romance is likely to be one of the hottest properties of the day in the 5.45. An intoxicating combination of Michael Appleby and Hollie Doyle on an in-form favourite who has been in the headlines for all the right (and some of the wrong) reasons, catching the eye under tender handling on debut for this yard and a subsequent triple winner, including twice at the track.

However, this is harder than his recent exploits and, in contrast, PEARL OF QATAR has an easier time has a somewhat easier time tonight than in her last two defeats. There are obvious excuses for those reversals too, rearing at the start and then forcing the issue too soon last time, and stopped in her run round the bend after struggling to find position from a high draw, before failing to pick up off a no more than even gallop on her last start here.

Better drawn tonight in box four, she looks like a decent each-way bet against the favourite.

4.55 Chelmsford – Irish EBF Future Stayers Novice Stakes

Before the finale in the Midlands, there’s a cracking novice event at Chelmsford at 4.55. Trainer spotters will be thrilled to see the likes of Varian, Balding, Tate, Gosden and Beckett with runners, but a man better known for his jumping exploits has one of the most interesting contenders with WHO CARES WINS.

As the name suggests, she is a half-sister to Royal Ascot winner and all-round consistent stayer Who Dares Wins, which means she will be seen to best effect when going up in trip, but she ran such a good race over this course and distance on debut that she might have enough in the locker to win second time out.

In the last ten years, her trainer has a 16.9% strike-rate with his two-year-olds second time out (13 winners from 77 runners), resulting in a £60.16 level stake profit, and she ran a cracker when badly positioned here on debut in a red hot speed figure behind a blue-blooded winner owned by The Queen.

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