Our racing expert marks your card for Tuesday's Southwell action.
The handicaps at Southwell this afternoon should come with a punters’ wealth warning, but I’ve found a couple of horses that may have slipped under the bookies’ radar and any market support for either would be significant.
It’s hard to enthuse about the form of ZONE IN, who is making his debut for Ivan Furtado in division 2 of the 7f handicap that closes the card. But you can say the same about most of his rivals and he’s also relatively exposed after just seven career starts.
He did hint at some ability when finishing fifth on his handicap debut at Carlisle last June, weakening into fifth after doing too much too early, and while he’s shown very little since, he’s dropped in the weights as a result and is now 12lb lower.
Whether he can take advantage remains to be seen, but his new trainer did have a double here on Sunday (odds of 8/1 and 6/1) and his booking of ‘PJ’ McDonald catches the eye as the rider is 3-10 on the stable runners for a small level-stakes profit.
Ertidaad looks the one to beat in the first division of the 7f handicap having won his last two starts on Fibresand at Kempton and Lingfield last time in the space of 12 days. However, he’s gone up for 10lb for the latest of those and he might prove vulnerable off top weight back on this different surface.
That said, finding one to beat him is no easy matter as he has the monopoly on solid recent form. But one horse who could give him a race is the ex-Irish ICONIC FIGURE, who is making his stable debut for Philip Kirby off what is potentially a generous mark (46).
The five-year-old has looked of sorts in his last two starts in Ireland and is maiden after 20 tries, but there have been a few near misses, including a second at Dundalk last August after a break and a couple of thirds in maidens at this track when with David O’Meara as a three-year-old.
At least we know he acts on Fibresand then and considering that he was as high as 65 when starting life in handicaps, he does look very well treated here on a mark 46 with William Cox taking a further 5lb off. Some market support would provide further encouragement.
All odds were correct at time of posting.