Five of these were due to race over C&D seven days ago before the fog intervened. One of those was Lexi The One who bids for a C&D hat-trick, but she will probably need to improve again in order to defy her new mark. Another due to run last week was Equidae whose record around here makes him a serious contender, but he isn’t the easiest to predict so preference is for LION TOWER. His last two efforts since joining Grant Tuer have been encouraging including when chasing home an impressive winner over C&D ten days ago. That form has already been franked.
Not many come into this in much form including RESTIVE, but he has dropped 2lb lower than when winning over C&D 13 months ago and the new headgear combination could well give him a boost. Sea Of Mystery has also won over a staying trip around here so is a contender, while Heron is another who is well handicapped on his C&D success in May last year.
It’s tough to see past STONE SOLDIER (nap) who won easily over 7f here last week on his first outing for Archie Watson and is 5lb well-in under a penalty. Shining Aitch and Samphire Coast can fight it out for minor honours.
Three of these emerged from the fog to fill the first three places over C&D seven days ago, but having been one of many to help force the pace that day and with this being a much smaller field BIRKENHEAD is taken to reverse placings with Duke Of Firenze on 4lb better terms and confirm the placings with Dark Shot. Zapper Cass comes into this 4-7 over C&D and may pose the biggest threat to the selection.
Social City goes in search of a hat-trick but the fact he ran poorly on his last visit here is a slight concern. The surface is also a possible issue with unexposed Chelmsford winner Trinity Girl and the well-treated Monjeni so perhaps the safest option is SHINE BABY SHINE. Phil Kirby’s mare is actually due to be 2lb lower from Saturday but the fact she goes so well here outweighs that and she can add to last week’s 1m6f win.
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Little solid recent solid form on show, though The Retriever and Three Card Trick have performed well here lately and both seem likely to make their presence felt, but MISTER FREEZE looked to be on the way back when just behind The Retriever here 12 days ago and can reverse the form if enjoying a kinder trip this time.
There may be a bit more to come from Fair Praise now making her handicap debut provided she handles the surface but this looks best left to FLY TRUE. Ivan Furtado’s mare has dropped to 1lb lower than when gaining her fourth course success over C&D back in January.
Despite an 8lb rise Kentucky Kingdom has to be considered in his current mood, while triple course winner Global Melody might also go well as he is unexposed over the trip. However, MOTAWAAFEQ makes plenty of appeal having been placed in all three starts in better company over C&D earlier in the year and returns here for the first time since.
The Racing Post’s bets bets at Southwell today
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