Tuesday Races: Reach for the Merlot

A favourite tipping tactic is to try and catch those potential improvers, who having hid their talent well at maiden or novice level, suddenly step up off a low initial handicap mark.

Over jumps it can also suit to look for the kind of breeding profile that fits those tactics.

The sadly recently departed sire Midnight Legend tends to favour stamina over speed, and his progeny can often improve with experience and distance and are prime candidates for handicap improvers.

Two of his offspring make handicap debuts today at Southwell.

The more fancied of the two is Frank Klammer in the 1500 race.  It’s tempting to suggest his form is going downhill fast (one for the vintage Ski Sunday fans), but he gets the help of a full 10lb claim of stable conditional jockey Charlie Davies.

The Longsdon yard are often ones to watch in handicaps so he is worth a close look.

For our pick though we prefer the extra distance facing handicap debutant Midnight Merlot (1330).

His novice form showed occasional promise and the shrewd yard of Noel Williams is hitting a little form with the last 3 runners finishing 3-1-3 at odds of 14-8-66 respectively.

It is seven months since he last ran, so we have to take it on trust that he will be ready first time out, but that break has the added benefit of allowing more time for maturity and improvement, and the good form of those last three stablemates all cam on seasonal debut.

The race has already been active with a few early price gambles, but that will hopefully help us get a good price.

We’ll trust in a maturing Merlot to satisfy our thirst for profits.  Should there be winnings, then Frank Klammer could provide a chance to play up.


Midnight Merlot, (1330 Southwell), 1pt each way, 16/1 generally available 

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