1.10: Some Southwell 'housekeeping' to offer before I start my analysis. Favourites in general have performed well in 2016 thus far; 35 races - 37 favourites - 18 winners - 11 placed - 8 unplaced, which explains the poor average Placepot dividend of £64.86. Four of the five odds on marker leaders have obliged. It is hardly surprising that Michael Appleby has entered the most runners (five) on Tuesday given his five winners at the track this year, where he has saddled at least one winner in four of the five meetings to date, statistics which include one (15/8) beaten favourite. Out of interest, Michael winners were returned at 16/1-8/1-9/2-4/1-Evens*. A teaser of an opening contest, given that five course and distance winners are among the 12 entries, notwithstanding two other horses which have won here at Southwell. Michael saddles Falcon's Reign with an obvious chance, though Brian Ellison (BOOLASS) and Julia Feilden (STAR OF THE STAGE) have both saddled a few winners of late whereby the chances of their raiders are respected. The overnight reserve nomination is awarded to TIGER'S HOME.
Favourite factor: Only one of the three favourites (via two renewals) has finished in the frame (exact science) to date (no winners).
1.45: Not too many horses remain in training which have won over any course and distance 12 times, though this is the scenario with GENERAL TUFTO in this event, not withstanding two other victories at the venue! Whether the eleven-year-old can halt a run of 21 consecutive defeats is debatable, though it should be noted that 11/14 wins to date have emerged in January/February via just 22% of his total number of assignments from a monthly perspective. GENERAL TUFTO beat ELUM MAC by a neck in this event last year and is now six pounds better in with Neville Bycroft's raider, albeit ELUM MAC is four years younger which might negate the disadvantage in weight terms. THELLO and INCURS FOUR FAULTS are others to consider.
Favourite factor: The two favourites have secured gold and silver medals thus far.
2.50: Three-year-olds invariably get the measure of their older rivals under the terms and conditions of mixed vintage events, especially at this time of year. BEST NEW SHOW and MISS GOLDSMITH are preferred to ROYAL RETTIE accordingly, though nothing could tempt yours truly with his cash from a win perspective in this weak event.
Favourite factor: Both favourites would have finished second (claiming Placepot positions) but for a technicality whereby one of them (a 4/9 chance) was disqualified.
Favourite factor: The two (11/8 & 7/4) market leaders have claimed gold and silver medals thus far.