Our racing expert marks your card for Tuesday's jumps action at Southwell.
Former pointer EYESOPENWIDEAWAKE is 2-2 since joining Harry Whittington and the six-year-old can bring up the hat-trick when he runs in the 2m novices’ limited handicap chase.
A winner over hurdles on his stable debut at Stratford in June, when racing enthusiastically and making all, he again raced clear (with one other) when following up over fences at Kempton (2m2f, good) last month. He jumped like an absolute buck on that occasion, gaining ground on his rivals at every fence, and what was really pleasing was the way he kicked on again from three out to put distance between himself and the chasing pack. He’s clearly progressing and with the ground remaining in his favour, I fancy he can make light of a subsequent 5lb rise under Harry Bannister. He’s likely to be long odds-on in running given his style of racing, which provides an opportunity to hedge if that’s your thing.
The 2m7f handicap hurdle looks very competitive and while I’ve got plenty of respect for Dan Skelton’s Red Rising, who has been put in as favourite, I’m drawn to BOBO MAC at a double-digit price.
Tom Symonds charge is already a course winner, that coming over an extended 2m4f in March when he needed every yard of that trip to prevail from Banjo Girl, who won a race here last month, with a big gap back to another useful sort in third. Unsurprisingly, he has finished well beaten on a couple of subsequent starts over shorter, but he was noted keeping on steadily into fourth at Bangor last time after hitting a flat spot in mid-race, and it’s clear he needs a stiffer test now. Now racing off what is his lowest handicap mark to date and with Jamie Moore booked, he’s got to be worth a little each-way.
Tom Lacey has his string in good form as evidenced by three good-priced winners (8/1, 17/2 and 11/2) in the last fortnight and that fuels confidence in the chances of his SIR EGBERT in the 2m maiden hurdle.
The well-bred four-year-old looks to have a strong shout on form too having finished an encouraging third on his hurdles debut at Ffos Las last month, having also showed clear promise on the first of his two bumper starts last winter. Given a positive ride at the Welsh venue in a first-time hood, he only weakened between the last two flights and that was understandable given he’d done plenty early on his first run back for 273 days. Robert Dunne takes over in the saddle this afternoon and if the selection consents to a more patient ride, he should be involved at the finish.
Olly Murphy seems keen on the chances of Weebill in the closing bumper, saying of the five-year-old in his Betfair blog: “he goes nicely, is a big raw baby and Jamie Codd is coming over to ride him.” We should perhaps take the hint, although the stable is 0-1 in this sphere and Tom George’s DOCTOR DEX looks a formidable rival having caught the eye when second behind the exciting Strong Glance in an identical race here last month. He gets the vote on that basis.
(Odds were correct at the time of posting: December 4, 2017 @ 18:56:03)
All odds were correct at time of posting.