Having suffered such bad fortune with the weather earlier in the year, it is Southwell that comes to the rescue, providing the only action in Britain and Ireland on Saturday...
Few horses seem to relish the fibresand surface like Dubai Hills, who boasts an unbeaten record at Southwell, winning on all five starts, and he rates as banker material in the fourth leg...
13:25- Lucky Mountain shaped as if amiss last time and would have a little bit to find with Royal Skies and Edwin Ralph, but it may be worth including all three runners in the Southwell opener, particularly as none of the trio have raced on the fibresand surface. We will hope that the outsider Lucky Mountain takes a liking to Southwell and knocks plenty of lines out.
14:00- Honest Strike is the obvious selection, his form in the book at Southwell an obvious asset. He has, however, reportedly bled on his two most recent outings so may not be one to bank on. Linroyale Boy is yet to win at Southwell, but he has plenty of respectable efforts to his name and should once again give a good account of himself, hopefully ensuring we progress to the third leg.
14:35- Upper Lambourn shaped as if he was still in good form when finishing fourth here last time, and the fact all four of his career wins have come at this venue makes him of interest. The Michael Appleby-trained Thorpe Bay is also of interest having finished second here on his debut for the yard four days ago. Appleby has been prolific at Southwell this year and all of his runners deserve consideration.
15:10- Few horses seem to relish the fibresand surface like Dubai Hills, who has won on his last five starts at Southwell, and he rates as banker material in the fourth leg. He produced a career best earlier in the month, romping clear to score by five lengths, and he ought to prove hard to beat, for all that he faces an improving rival in Frontier Fighter.
15:45- There was a bit of encouragement to take from Mataajir's most recent effort at Kempton and returning to seven furlongs should be in his favour. However, he was possibly flattered by coming off a strong early pace so we will take him on with San Jose City and Michael's Nook. The former has slipped to a good mark and shaped better than the result over a mile at Kempton, his effort flattening out late on, suggesting the step back to seven furlongs may suit. The latter has failed to make an impact in two starts on fibresand, but there were valid excuses for his most recent defeat, and he appears to be in good heart and is weighted to strike.
16:20- It is a worry including horses that have never raced on this unique surface, particularly those starting at short odds and likely to command a large proportion of the pool, but Bispham Green's turf efforts last year set a clear standard and he should be too good for his rivals.
13:25- 1, 2, 3
14:00- 1, 2
14:35- 1, 8
15:45- 3, 6
= 24 lines
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