Alan finished his last stint in the chair with a winner and is looking to kick off this week in a similar fashion, he has two selections on the all weather from Chelmsford and Southwell to get started...
"He much prefers this left handed tight oval track and going back to eight furlongs will also help."
Back Samphire Coast @ 9/2 in the 20:00 Chelmsford
Samphire Coast's last three starts at Chelmsford City have seen Derek Shaw's five-year-old gelding finish first, second and second. The two time course and distance winner obviously likes the track and I think he can run a big race today. He was disappointing last time out at Newcastle over seven furlongs, but that is a tough straight uphill seven at Newcastle and I am not sure it suits him, he has run there twice now finishing fifth of 10 a couple of weeks ago and sixth of seven, last time out. It appears he much prefers this left handed tight oval track and going back to eight furlongs will also help.
Paddy Mathers gets the leg up and thanks mainly to the loyal support from Derek Shaw, he has made a good start to 2018. Mathers is attached to Richard Fahey, and while he gets lots of support from his boss, particularly on those with the light weights, it is the Shaw team that have given Paddy plenty of rides and a steady flow of winners, he has ridden twice as many winners for the Shaw team than the Fahey yard. King Oswald looks the one he will have to finish in front of if he is to claim this, he escapes running with a penalty today after winning at Newcastle last time out in an apprentice riders race.
Jabbaar may have finished behind the current market principle Epitah over course and distance 11 days ago but he was only half a length down, despite getting carried right in the closing stages and after returning from a break. Off today's weights he also gets a 2lb advantage which gives him every chance to reverse the placings. Phillip Makin was on board when the five-year-old last won and he gets the leg up on Ian Jardine's charge today.
I think Maifalki could be a bigger threat to the selection's chances than the current favourite, he has finished a creditable second the last twice, including over course distance in a claimer. He steps up in trip today after staying on well over a mile and quarter at Chelmsford last time and will be much happier over this trip off the same mark. With Clifford Lee also taking a valuable 3lbs he is certainly a contender but I think Jabbaar will have enough to cover both of these today in an interesting race.