Our racing guru likes the look of a couple of Southwell runners.
David Pipe has his string in excellent form and MOUNT HAVEN, his sole runner at Southwell this afternoon, can keep the good run going.
The six-year-old carries top weight in the 2m7f handicap hurdle (due off 4.00pm), but he is far from badly treated on a mark of 120, having run off 5lb higher when finding the competition too hot in a Grade 3 novices’ handicap hurdle at Sandown at this time last year.
Previously, he’d shown useful placed form in maiden / novice company, with his second to the smart Native River the standout, and he duly got off the mark over hurdles in a maiden at Ludlow in January (2m5f heavy).
That should have served as a confidence booster so it was disappointing to see him finish well beaten when trying to follow up at Doncaster nine days ago. However, a bad mistake three out when still in contention seemed to knock the stuffing out of him and it was later reported that he lost a shoe in the incident.
The fact he is turned out again so quickly has to be seen as a positive and Pipe has certainly found him a winnable race against just four rivals, with main market rival and course winner Carlo Rocks looking to be on a stiff mark. That horse of course helps make the market for the selection, who is nap material on a day of very modest action.
The 2m mares’ handicap hurdle run later on the card (4.30pm) looks trappy to say the least, but the booking of Richard Johnson for the Tom Lacey-trained REBEKAH RABBIT takes the eye. The champion jockey-elect has a good record when teaming up with the stable runners, with four of his 11 (36%) of his rides obliging for a £1 level-stakes profit of £9.25.
The selection has yet to get off the mark after seven starts under Rules but showed there was a race in her when finishing runner-up in a similar race at Uttoxeter in November and when filling the same berth in a Warwick handicap against male horses off the same mark as today’s.
She failed to run up to that level when well beaten at Leicester at the end of January, admittedly, but that was her first try at a right-handed track (possible excuse?) and a subsequent 41-day break will have likely freshened her up. The booking of Johnson suggests she has been showing up well at home.