Alan Thompson returns for the next three days and thinks he has found two good opportunities on today's Southwell card to get his short week started...
"A return to an all weather surface and a feather weight may be just the combination to get the old boys head back in front"
Hughie Morrison has an interesting runner in the opening race at Southwell, his well handicapped 10yo Cousin Khee is of interest running off a mark of just 65. He may well be without a win since October 2015, but that win at Nottingham came off a 14lb higher mark than today and was in a Class 4 handicap. Today he has an extra 7lb taken off with stable apprentice Theodore Ladd in the plate and has previous winning form on this course.
He has been putting in some decent efforts over hurdles this year but has so far failed to reproduce that form when returning to the flat. However, he is now off what has to be a competitive mark though and all his recent flat runs have been on the turf. The return to an all weather surface and a feather weight may be just the combination to get the old boys head in front once more. It's certainly a competitive looking handicap but at the prices, I am prepared to give him another chance.
Fortinbrass is a five time course and distance winner who has run at Southwell 10 times off a mark less than 60, on nine of those occasions he has finished in the first three. He runs today off a mark of 58 and has Ben Robinson claiming a very handy 5lbs. He performed with credit over C&D last time out, is likely to be better for the run and he really shouldn't be far away off this rating in conditions which are sure to suit.
John Balding's charge relishes the Fibresand surface and while he may not be quite the force he once was, the seven-year-old who has previously won off a mark of 81 in his better days, looks to have a real opportunity to claim his sixth win at the track in this Class 6 event.
I was going to back both selections each-way but have decided to back both horses to win their respective races, but I also think it is worth having a half point each-way double on as well so in total it will be a three points stake.
2017 Overall (prior to this week): +39.45 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 0 pts
Returned: 0 pts