Four selections so far this week for Alan, two winners and two seconds. Today he has another two selections from Chelmsford and Southwell...
"He has now dropped to mark of 75 and that should make him competitive again"
Stuart Williams is no stranger to the winners enclosure at Chelmsford and I think he could find himself in there again this afternoon with his five-year-old gelding Excellent George. He has now dropped to mark of 75 and that should make him competitive again, the last time he was running off a mark as low as this was two years ago when he won over five furlongs at Wolverhampton he has also won off 77 before so he is more than capable of taking this. He also has the services of 3lb stable apprentice Aaron Jones, who as well as knowing the horse well is a very good claimer.
His strike rate may not be anything to write home about, he hasn't won since July 2016, but he is handicapped accordingly and has finished second of six and fourth of 10 on his last two starts at this course. Both those runs were over five furlongs where he was doing his best work at the end of the race. Today's step up to six furlongs could just be the opportunity he needs to get his head back in front again and at 6/1 he has to be worth giving a chance.
Article Fifty had already been successful in a pointer before scoring at the first time of asking under Rules in a Uttoxeter in a bumper last month. I think he will also make a successful hurdling debut today. The four-year-old is well thought of by trainer Warren Greatrex and it is interesting to note that champion jockey Richard Johnson is travelling to Southwell for just two mounts and this one certainly looks to have the best chance of a winner for him.
He's a short enough price on his hurdling debut and of course there are some other decent yards that have some inexperienced runners, as normal with these types of events the market is always a good indicator and if Arctic Fifty slips from pole position in the market that would certainly dampen my enthusiasm for him. But all things look to be in place for him to take this event and then move onto bigger and better things in the future.
2017 Overall (prior to this week): +37.45 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 4 pts
Returned: 9.25 pts