We start in the opening race of the card on the polytrack at Southwell for a six-furlong Handicap where Razin’ Hell is the one to beat.
John Balding’s charge carries a six-pound penalty for his recent win over course and distance where he looked to have something in hand. He in stall five, the same as he was for his win eight-days ago, and tactically should get a pace that suits his need. The slight concern is the way in which he hung across the track in the closing stages. One thing that is fair to state is his course record, from ten starts here at Southwell he has won five times and placed on four other occasions.
Sartori was also a course and distance winner 27-days and he has gone up four-pounds for that win. His style of running suits this track by the fact he made most of the running and if able to get a soft lead out in front then he could prove hard to peg back. Marjorie Fife is sending her horse on a near 200-mile round trip for this run suggesting he has come out of that win well and is fine to go well again.
There is plenty of pace on though, which will suit the favourite. Sir Geoffrey can be ridden prominently then there is Fujin who made all to win here two starts ago. Of that pair the former with Luke Morris back on board has to be considered but is turned out quickly from a run over five-furlongs.
Sartori (E/W if 9/2+)
A trip to Cumbria to take the remaining jumps card of the day with a Class 4 Novices’ Handicap Chase.
James Moffatt’s Morning Royalty steps down in class and has ran creditably in warmer contests than this and can get his head back in front here. This son of King’s Theatre is somewhat of a course specialist with two wins, a second and two thirds from six starts on this right-handed track. He’s a steady jumper and will handle these conditions. His last win did come over three-miles so Brian Hughes could ride him positively to try and use his stamina.
Moscow Me was a winner at Leicester when he was last seen 44-days ago. The switch to the larger obstacles have seen him to his best after two wins and a second, so there could be further progress to come. He is yet to encounter heavy ground and all of his best form comes on good-ish turf. Henry Oliver has only had one runner here in the last five years and that returned to the winners’ enclosure.
Dr Moloney is the Irish raider in this contest and Stuart Crawford’s runner just failed in an attempt to make all at Down Royal last time. That run at Down Royal was only a week ago, so he still may be getting over that run considering the hard conditions he ran in. He could try and slip the field in this contest from the front. His only career win came in a Maiden Hurdle at Perth off this mark, so has to be considered.
Morning Royalty (WIN)
A Class 7 Handicap over one-mile-two-furlongs is where we find our final selection.
Happy Jack sets the standard on the back of his run at Chelmsford 13-days ago. Michael Wigham’s five-year-old has gone up two-pounds for that run where he could be considered as unlucky as squeezed for room when trying to find the run. A similar run to that should really see him hit the frame at the very least here. George Baker takes over in the saddle from Shane Kelly. The fact he is a 16-race maiden does detract from his prospects.
Races of this nature can tend to through up the odd shock result and it isn’t hard to envisage one here. White Dog has shown nothing in terms of form on his seven starts for Eugene Stanford. However he has moved to Sarah Humphrey and has been upped in trip by five-furlongs. On pedigree that is one that is likely to see him to a better light than the inadequate sprint trips he has been running at. Despite being the outsider of the lot he could threaten off this mark of 50 plus Dan Brock claims three-pound too.
Star Links is having his 98th career run but Sylvester Kirk’s ten-year-old is more of a Wolverhampton course specialist. His last win came in February 2014 off a mark of 87. Here he runs off 48, so if showing some of his old sparkle he could get himself involved in the finish but this trip does leave stamina doubts.
Time Square was third in last time when Happy Jack was second and Ferryview Place was fourth. That Chelmsford form could prove the key to this race but the outsider is worth chancing.
White Dog (E/W)