Good morning all,
I was at Southwell on Tuesday for their jumps fixture and whilst most of it was low-grade stuff, there were a couple of races of interest and the novice hurdle may well have thrown up a nice horse to follow – and it wasn't the winner.
Plus a 100-1 shot worth a mention at Taunton.
Southwell 2.30 – 3m Maiden Hurdle
I think we might have seen a very nice horse here, and it wasn’t the winner Terrieman.
We’ll deal with Terrieman first – absolutely bang fit but there’s not much to him and little in the way of scope for much better, unless he starts to grow a bit. He gives his previous Stratford form another boost with this win, but I think he’ll struggle in novice company under a penalty, and a short odds, I’d look at trying to take him on.
The one to take out of this is second home, Mercian Knight, trained by Amy Murphy. He was head and shoulders above this lot – quite literally – but you could see he would need a run, there’s that much to him that there would be no way he was 100% fit for his reappearance after 8 months off. He’s an absolute bull of a horse – power from his shoulders through his core and through to his hind quarters. He looked for all the world like blowing up at the top of the straight but he found a second wind and made the race-fit favourite pull out all the stops. The pair were 40l clear of the third – Tension Time, who wasn’t without some scope himself and I had third best in the paddock, and with this under his belt, I want to be with Mercian Knight as the season progresses.
Southwell 3.30 – Bumper
On paper this looked a really good event but there was less to like about a few of them on inspection.
Neither of the Kim Bailey pair looked match fit, although Java Point looked a lot more forward than What A Baloo did. David Bass tried to make all on him but he was pushed along a long way form home and he simply had no answers when the quicker horses went past him. As they came back in past me, the words “lacked gears” were definitely muttered, which just backs up the visual impression.
Nicky Henderson’s Arcadian Pearl has some growing to do, but he too needed the run. I really liked Santon, perhaps unsurprisingly as I like almost all of Trevor Hemmings purchases. He’s a really lengthy, long-striding sort that will want further than this – he travelled well but also lacked a gear when push came to shove. But there was enough here to get him on trackers.
When You’re Ready is another good looker that was very fit, but he was never in this and maybe the ground was against him. Two of the fittest in the paddock fought the finish out, with Ask A Honey Bee beating Wilde About Oscar (who is quite tall) but in the longer term, have to say that others here made more appeal.
I've got quite a few on trackers running today but have to say many of them face tough tasks and might have to wait for another day. The first at Taunton is interesting though, with a few of these not really improving and although favourite Eritrage looks solid enough, the places look up for grabs. With that, a small e/w bet on Ede'iffs Elton at 100-1 is worth a try. That really wasn't the worst debut behind the potentially very smart Eclair Surf at Exeter (the speed figure backs it up) and you can expect improvement on that. I could easily peg that performance at a level to horses well under half his price here and he could nick a place.
Good luck with all your bets here,