With the others in modest form recently, not proven on the surface, or both, the most likely principals are last week’s penalised C&D winners Puchita and KRAKA. With the former already having had one go at defying her penalty and not run quite so well, slight preference is for Kraka who dominated his race last Thursday.
Quaint and Northern Charm, preferred in that order, are highly likely to have prominent finishes but GLOBAL MELODY (nap) won too well over C&D last week to be passed over.
The market might prove the best guide in this maiden and, without knowing where the money is going, there is only one conclusion to draw. JEBEL DUKHAN is head-and-shoulders above those who have run judged on his promising debut at Kempton and should win. However, keep a close eye on the betting and his relative strength compared to the others, particularly with regards to the Mark Johnston-trained newcomer Mr Excellency, who looks the principal danger.
There are questions to answer for King Of Stars after his headstrong stable debut, LEAPERS WOOD on this switch from turf and Silver Sniper after his recent handicap debut, but they are the ones with easily the best form. Leapers Wood is top of the list, having shown something like that form last time out.
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Scott Dixon fields a strong team with Crosse Fire, Samovar and Dark Shot, perhaps in that order, but Anthony Brittain’s in-form yard may have one to scupper them in the shape of DRAKEFELL who put up such a bold show at the end of August when returning from an absence of 501 days. That was Drakefell’s only appearance at Southwell. Exalted Angel looks best of the other
The switch to this surface triggered a return to form for THAWRY last week and he is hard to oppose under a penalty for that wide-margin C&D win. Mr Carbonator has some good form over C&D and looks the best alternative in a race that lacks strength in depth. Sharp Reply might prove best of the rest.
The step up in trip might do the trick for XCELENTE, who narrowly failed to get up close home over 7f at this track last week. Curtiz should be suited by the drop back in distance and return to Fibresand. He might prove the biggest danger ahead of Cape Greco and Nine Elms. Another possibility is Absolute Dream if the first-time visor and switch to this surface lead him put his latest start behind him.
There was a lot to like about the way JOHN CLARE won at Leicester last week and he is selected to follow up off the same mark. The only concern is whether he will handle the surface and, if he isn’t at home on Fibresand, three-time course winner Robero might be the one who takes advantage. Gravity Force is well handicapped if he can return to some sort of form.
The Racing Post’s tips at Southwell on Thursday evening
- A fine 9/1 fancy among the 7 best bets at Wincanton today
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