Only certain people get excited about a Sunday card at Southwell that features four Class 6 handicaps and a selling plate. Luckily, I am one of them!
In all seriousness, that is perhaps doing an injustice to Southwell, as there is a cracking sprint sandwiched in between those races at 14:45. There are several fibresand specialists among the 10 declared, too, but the one who tops the list is Ornate.
He has taken well to this surface this winter, his form figures over C&D now reading 3211, and he was far from disgraced when a good neck second to a smart type back on the tapeta in a similar event at Newcastle last time. Clearly at the top of his game right now, he is well worth siding with again back at this venue for a trainer that does well with sprinters.
You may be able to get to the moon and back before they cross the line in the opening handicap at 13:00, with some low-level horses on show, but this could be a good opportunity for Arriba de Toda to get his head in front. He showed improved form in first-time blinkers when only narrowly denied by Sylviacliffs over this C&D last time, doing all his best work at the finish.
Admittedly, Arriba de Toda is only 1 lb better off with that rival now, but he could have more to offer and is fancied to reverse that form, provided the headgear has the same desired effect again.
Point Zero, who goes in the 14:10, proved everybody – including myself – wrong when belatedly getting his head in front in a minor event over C&D last time, giving weight to some lesser exposed rivals, too. First-time eyeshields seemed to work the oracle, but that was about as convincing as Gemma Collins on ice and I’d much rather take him on despite this being a drop in grade. Diamond Pursuit is yet to win at Southwell, but he has some solid efforts to his name round here, and could be the way to go. This will be his first time racing over a bare five furlongs since his two-year-old days, but he hasn’t been with this yard long and he looks a player at this level.
The last race on the card at 15:50 looks more interesting than most Class 6 handicaps round here as Port Soif is still unexposed on this surface.
She was two from two over this C&D heading into her last race and, though she was disappointing, there were plausible excuses, it was her first run for eight months and getting minimal assistance in the saddle from her inexperienced rider.
Paul Mulrennan, who has won on the horse before, takes over now, and a bold bid is expected from just a 2 lb higher mark than her latest win.