There's a good all-weather card at Southwell this afternoon and that's where we head for Tuesday's attempt at the Placepot...
14:00- Very First Blade arrives at the top of his game having finished runner-up here on his two most recent outings, and he should give another account under conditions he relishes. Very First Blade is fully effective over C&D and has an appealing profile for Placepot players. Little Choosey wasn't seen to best effect at Chelmsford last time, meeting trouble late on, but she had previously been in good form and is the type to bounce back quickly.
14:30- Excelling Oscar has something to find on form, but he is at least proven on this fibresand surface and comes here in peak form having returned to winning ways over six furlongs here on Sunday. We'll also include Play Nicely as he produced his best effort yet when finishing third over six furlongs here last week, and he should relish this stiffer test.
15:05- Kingscombe is a real fibresand warrior, successful here on seven occasions, and it would be little surprise to see him bounce back to form under what is probably optimum conditions. Kingscombe proved his stamina for two miles when winning over C&D in January and he should appreciate the return to this kind of test. We will also include Samtu as he looked to handle this surface well enough when chasing home an easy winner here last time, and it's possible that the Ellison yard can continue to draw improvement.
15:35- The withdrawal of Norse Blues, meaning that only two horses will progress in the Placepot, isn't ideal, but we'll still bank on Westminster as he has looked a real natural on this surface and can quickly bounce back to his best following a slightly below-par effort on the polytrack last time. He's essentially a likeable, steadily-progressive type who's still well handicapped, and he is banker material in the Placepot
16:10- This is likely to develop into a match between International Name and Steady Major, and, with only the winner progressing in the Placepot, the sensible ploy is to include both in the Placepot. Narrow preference would be for International Name as he has more untapped potential, but the percentage call is to keep both on side.
16:40- Carlanda looked to have a bit in hand when winning over C&D recently and could still have more to offer now that her excellent stable seem to have found the key to her. An array of headgear was dispensed with last time, and Carlanda seemed to appreciate that move, travelling with greater fluency than is often the case, and she can go well again.
14:00- 1, 4
14:30- 3, 4
15:05- 1, 4
16:10- 4, 5
= 16 lines