A bank holiday card in the UK, but one of the least inspiring. Some fair races at Epsom and at Ripon, but they all look pretty tricky.
We are instead going to focus on the low-grade return of sand racing at Southwell. Of all the all-weather tracks, the Southwell Fibresand surface is the most idiosyncratic. It is a deep surface that tends to favour front runners and certainly favours course specialists.
There are two ways to approach today’s card. We could look at well backed track veterans returning after a break or a poor turf campaign, with the likes of Padleyourowncanoe, Roger Thorpe and Royal Holiday looking the most likely.
We though would prefer slightly less exposed, although preferably still proven Southwell specialists-of-the-future rather than the past.
First on that list is Tricky Dicky (1400 BST). He won his only race at this track, which at the time was a big step up on form. Since then though he has run to that level on turf with a couple of excellent seconds, now returned to this surface he has been rock solid as favourite here despite being opposed by a track specialist veteran like Treaty of Rome. He can win here as part of a sequence at this track.
One we will take a punt on is progressive 3yo Size Matters in the 7f handicap (1510). Its a punt as he has never seen this surface, but he is bred to enjoy it, has a running style that should suit, and frankly, apart from track specialist veteran Royal Holiday, there isn’t much to beat here.
The final name on the slip is Misu Moneypenny (1615). This filly won here racecourse debut at this track. It has been a long catalogue of disappointment since, but she has benefitted from a slipping rating and has shown signs of life from the front on turf of late. The booking of sand king Luke Morris to ride, for a stable who provide the top three in the betting, suggests she may be the top contender from the yard.
Recommendation: “The Sand Treble”: Tricky Dicky (1400 Southwell) & Size Matters (1510 Southwell) & Misu Moneypenny (1615 Southwell), 1pt win treble, approx. 50/1
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