Our racing expert marks your card for Tuesday's jumps action at Southwell.
SIZING SCORPION is by far the most interesting runner in the opening 2m handicap chase, having shown some useful form over hurdles in Ireland and now making his debut for Colin Tizzard. Formerly with Henry de Bromhead for whom he won a handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse, and then Mouse Morris, he hasn’t been seen out since pulling up on his chase debut at Tramore in December 2016. But he’s always been considered a chasing type and Tizzard, who has his summer jumpers in good form (5-16 in the last fortnight), looks to have found him a suitable opening with Tom Scudamore booked. Some market support – currently positive – would increase confidence in him further given his long absence.
Dan Skelton continues to bang out the winners – he’s 7-26 in the last fortnight – and he’s certainly getting the most out of TOO MANY DIAMONDS. The seven-year-old rattled off a four-timer over hurdles in May 2017 and he is looking even better over fences judging by his most recent success in a handicap chase at this track 21 days. Looking well treated on a mark of 102, having chased home a decent sort in Western Miller (now rated 138) on his chase debut last September, he duly obliged for backers, winning more cosily than his length winning margin over Global Domination would suggest. Back over the same course and distance and on similar ground, he is taken to defy a 4lb higher mark against rivals who are mostly exposed and have question marks over them.
Skelton also supplies the favourite for the 2m handicap hurdle on the card in Symphony Of Angels, who is making his stable debut having left Graeme McPherson, for whom he won a couple of novice hurdles last summer. They were weak affairs, though, and he was fortunate to land the second of those at odds-on, with the runner-up throwing the race away approaching the final flight. While improvement for his new stable can’t be ruled out, he is opposable at just 5/2 for what is quite a competitive affair.
I’m going to take him on with the ex-Irish STOLE THE SHOW, who made a winning debut for Dr Richard Newland at Fontwell last month on his first ever run on ground better than good to yielding. While his margin of success was just half a length he had to be cajoled along by his apprentice rider to mount his challenge before idling close home and doesn’t look the type to win by very much. The six-year-old probably found the race coming soon when running flat at Wincanton just six days later under Sam Twiston-Davies, who renews the partnership and is here for just one ride, and has had three weeks to get over that. Off what is still a potentially lenient mark (113) and with his stable going well (3-8 in the last fortnight), he is taken to get back to winning ways.
The closing bumper has drawn the biggest field with 13 set to go to post and unless there is significant support for one of the newcomers, it looks a good opportunity for Alan King’s SKIN DEEP to build on her promising third on her racecourse debut in a similar race at Wincanton. She was finishing best of all on that occasion and is going to relish a longer trip once hurdling, but a similar effort here should suffice and her in-form stable is 5-29 in such races at this track.
All odds were correct at time of posting.