Tuesday’s action represents a landmark day with the much-heralded new Tapeta surface ready to go at Southwell and the card has attracted some decent horses this evening.
Sadly Storm Barra has put paid to any racing at Tramore, but that’s been rearranged for later in the week fingers crossed, so the jumping focus will be at Uttoxeter and Fontwell for the afternoon.
The years of accumulating stats on sires on the old Fibresand is something I miss. We’ll never see a Haafhd there again. Insert sad emoji.
Money Talk continues to highlight the Betfair Sportsbook big-money moves to keep you in the loop. This section highlights market moves between 1:00 am and 9:00 am.
12:00 Uttoxeter – Get A Tonic – 2.01/1 from 2.757/4
13:30 Uttoxeter – Ballybegg – 6.511/2 from 8.515/2
14:20 Fontwell – Lady Of The Night – 6.511/2 from 8.07/1
The market says LAY!
Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?
18:00 Southwell – Vaxholm – 15/8 OUT to 5/2
Mark your card
The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!
Two solid fixtures await and rain is expected at both of the jumping tracks. There are two Extra Place specials at the Sussex venue, and one includes the 2m6f Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at 13:20.
Gary Moore’s Albert Van Ornum had been backed last night on the Sportsbook into 7/2 from 5/1 and he looks ready for the step up in distance as he was outpaced at Lingfield last time. Moore and his son Jamie unsurprisingly are the leading combo at their local track and both operate at a reasonable 19%, which is decent given their sheer number of runners here.
Amateur jockey David Maxwell might not be the prettiest, and while he can resemble Captain D Alers Hankey in the saddle, he has improved considerably over the past two seasons and his mount Kepy Blanc 3.814/5 heads the betting for the second Extra Place race at Fontwell in the 2m2f Handicap Hurdle .
The corinthian Maxwell has a remarkable 40% win rate here, and makes his handicap debut from 102. It’s not much of a race and he wouldn’t have to be a world beater to win.
Star of the moment Bryony Frost for me is one of the best jockeys when allowed a lead in front, and she operates at a cool 17% at Fontwell, but current form sees her top of the ‘hot list’ with a strike-rate of 26% following a marquee weekend. She keeps her partnership going with Lucy Wadham and rides Terresita 9.08/1 in the 15:20 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle .
The 13:00 at Uttoxeter revolves around market leader Dorisa Queen 2.915/8 for Dan and Harry Skelton. The jockey is by far and way the leading rider at the track with an impressive 36% from 239 rides. David Pipe’s mare Miss M 15.014/1 is worth keeping an eye on as she has dropped down below her last winning mark.
The most competitive race on the card is the 2m6f Handicap Chase at 14:30 . Harry Fry’s horses are often overbet but his Mille Sussurri 4.57/2 jumped very well on his chase debut at Hereford last time and Fry has one of the best win ratios at the course at 32%.
Stat of the day
Jockey Finn Lambert has only had one ride at Fontwell in his young career so far and it was a winner, so he is looking to maintain his 100% record.
Rizzardo is his mount in the 12:50 at Fontwell, and he won at the Sussex track last time with Lambert on board for his first ever success in his career.
Horses for courses
This section highlights horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks and could be in with a chance today.
14:30 Uttoxeter – Irish Octave 67.066/1 has won here three times (75%).
12:50 Fontwell – Flaminger 5.59/2 has won here twice (50%) and Galtee Mountain 10.09/1 has won here twice (29%).
15:20 Fontwell – Hier Encore 17.016/1 has won here twice (11%)
Weighted to go well
“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
14:00 Uttoxeter – Captain Moirette 12.011/1 has won off 130 and runs off 107 today.
12:50 Fontwell – Monty’s Award 51.050/1 has won off 122 and runs off 109 today.
19:30 Southwell – Steelriver 17.016/1 has won off 76 and runs from 64 today.
This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.
Rookie trainer James Ferguson has had three winners from his last eight runners at 38% and has just one entered up at Southwell. Wineglass Bay 3.55/2 runs in the 19:00 7f Novice Stakes . He ran well at Kempton on his second start and the Godolphin favourite Yantarni 1.68/13 looks worth taking on.
I just wish his Dad would return to jumps’ training.
Trainer John Flint is sending With Pleasure 10.09/1 190 miles to run in the 13:20 at Fontwell while Sam Thomas makes the 169 mile trek from Wales with Galileo Silver 2.89/5 on the card.
Genial Jim Goldie sends Be Proud 282 miles down from Scotland for a try on the Southwell Tapeta at 16:30.
Race of the day
For Flat fans, they are in for a treat as the ambassador is spoiling us with the inaugural running of the Winter Oaks Trial at 17:30. Part of the new Lingfield Winter Millions Series.
It’s a relatively open race with Timeless Soul and Viola both at the top of the market priced at 11/4. James Fanshawe trains the latter and she has improved 11lb this year and stays 1m4f. Her best effort came in a handicap when beating William Haggas’ Sea La Rosa at Doncaster. She had a few personal run-ins with that filly as she lost to her on her next two starts.
Her sire Lope De Vega has a 15% strike-rate on the all-weather and Viola is unexposed on the synthetic surfaces, although she boasts a decent record at Lingfield with two wins. She can often meet trouble though and needs a good pace to run at.
I am more interested in Mark Johnston’s filly Alba Rose, who won a Thirsk novice last term as a juvenile from a fair pace and subsequently finished a creditable third in the Group 2 Rockfel.
Both of those were over 7f but she is related to the stable’s fine pair of stayers in Sir Ron Priestly and Subjectivist, so she is bred to relish the 1m4f distance on Tuesday evening.
She has been a keen goer and has pulled fiercely in a couple of races this year, but she’s only had three starts in 2021, and it could be they have kept her back for a winter campaign with so many good races now for these types. She raced over 1m2f last time at Lingfield in a muddling, small-field affair and they went no pace. Granted a stronger gallop at a sterner test in terms of trip, hopefully she can settle down and recapture her 2yo form.
Her sire Muhaarar has a 12% win rate on all-weather tracks.
Big race verdict
Virgin Snow is the top-rated at 98 and is out of Ed Dunlop’s superstar mare Snow Fairy. She’s another keen-goer so it perhaps isn’t ideal we haven’t seen her for 424 days, and she could be using this as a prep to blow away some ring rustiness.
She had moved out from 4/1 to 9/2 last night on the Sportsbook, but I am happy with Alba Rose who has dropped down to a winnable 91 rating. And while it may be an Oaks Trial in name, it’s still a handicap and she can offer more over 1m4f.
Tony Calvin’s Friday thoughts on Cheltenham
Resident big-price tipster Tony Calvin has looked ahead to the handicaps at Cheltenham on Friday and has a 33/1 selection to consider.
Timeform offer up three of their best
Tony McFadden gives an angle on the new dawn at Southwell with his three bets for the card, including a Nap, NB and each-way selection.
Read Timeform tips here
Well, a few words.
A very exciting night ahead with Southwell’s first-ever Tapeta fixture, hopefully we can back up two winners out of three so far with Alba Rose. But everyone needs to stop with the long-running ‘gag’ of how to pronounce Southwell something my old Betfair Radio colleague Dave Stewart mentioned on Twitter this week. It’s Suvvell for me not ‘South-well’ and it always has been. I had my first ever bet on Poly Road in a betting shop and it was Suvvell then and I’ve called it that for 25 years.
I am also going to have an each-way bet on the lovable grey For Jim 12.011/1 in the 14:30 at Uttoxeter . He didn’t stay 4m at Hexham last time and was in trouble a long way out, but back down to 2m6f should be more his bag.
And finally, David Maxwell earns a star award. Okay, he doesn’t always look pretty, but he buys and rides his own horses and taking on professionals at the peak of their fitness isn’t easy. He gives a great interview and loves the game, so fair play to him and good luck with his only mount on the day. A true modern-day corinthian in the spirit of Lord Cardigan, and he does put a bit of fun into it too.
And don’t forget to check out Daryl Carter’s latest Cheltenham Festival Focus.