In a perfect encapsulation of National Hunt racing, a weekend of high drama at Newbury and Fairyhouse is followed by a Monday so mundane as to drive us to the donkeys on the Southwell sands for a bet.
In fairness, there are one or two professional gamblers who pretty much limit themselves to Southwell, reasoning that the idiosyncratic surface lends itself to form analysis. The theory essentially being ignore all other form but Southwell form and you will get an edge as the markets, i.e. the average punter, can’t help factoring in the form from other tracks that simply won’t translate.
This is a fair view, although we like to be selective in suggesting that good Southwell form is compelling, but only when recent enough to indicate the current wellbeing of the horse.
Several fit that bill today, but at the odds on offer, the top of that bill is Bold Spirit (1450).
He has raced 50 times on turf, but after one early Kempton effort he had stayed away from the synthetics until turning up here a few weeks ago. That first course run saw him stay on well after a bit of trouble over 6f to be beaten a neck.
A second course effort, over today’s 7f on Friday, saw another good effort when a close fourth after significant trouble in running.
This quick return is symptomatic of a plan to win last Friday and follow up under a penalty, the Friday race didn’t go to plan, but he looks capable of better and he can land the follow up blow.
Recommendation: Bold Spirit (1450 Southwell), 1pt win, 9/4 generally available
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