Lincoln Park did attempt to win from the front this evening but couldn't hold on, he faded once again going from first to last over the course of the final furlong. Last night's 7/4 favourite Ghalyoon was eminently more backable at 9/4 and was asked to get going sooner than he had in the past and to good effect, getting home by a length. Firmament was more of a let down than Lincoln Park's reverse gear, as he looked to have every chance but found nothing late on.
Friday's free feature is the Horses for Courses report, whilst our free racecards cover the following handful of contests...
- 1.15 Newbury
- 2.25 Newbury
- 3.20 Southwell
- 4.15 Chelmsford
- 4.45 Chelmsford
And I'm going to look at a race that could be heavily influenced by the Horses for Courses report...
As you can see, three runners with a combined record of 14 wins from 34 Southwell handicaps take each other on, so let's see which of the three (if any) have a chance of improving their record. We start, as ever with the racecard for the 12.35 Southwell, a 9-runner, Class 5 A/W handicap for 3yo+ runners over 1m4f on the Fibresand with a top prize of £3429.
I've arranged the card in Speed Rating order as follows...
Our possibles, Tynecastle Park, Cold Harbour and Blowing Dixie are ranked 2nd, 4th and 6th here with the first named considerably better off at the ratings.
Tynecastle Park struggled over two miles on heavy ground last time out at Newbury five weeks ago, so should relish a drop in trip and the switch back to the A/W track. he won here over 2m0.5f five starts ago and returned to this venue to finish second, beaten by just a length over 1m6f. He was caught and headed in the final furlong by a horse that has since finished third in a higher grade. That failure to see the race out could also be the reason for dropping to this trip today.
He is 5 from 19 on the all-weather so far with all five wins coming from 13 runs in handicaps on this track. Of those thirteen runs here, he is five from eight after less than six weeks rest and two from four under today's jockey. He has never tried this trip before but has won here over 1m6f and despite being 0 from 3 at Class 5, has won here at Class 3. He was 12th of 14 last time out at Newbury and he is only 1 from 6 here after an unplaced run last time out.
As seen by the green icons on the card, both his trainer and jockey have enjoyed success at this track in the past.
Cold Harbour also disappointed last time out when 10th of 14 at Kempton in this grade over 1m3f, although he was only beaten by 4.5 lengths having led until just before a furlong from home. He has finished in the first three home in each of his last six visits to Southwell, where his record stands at 4 wins from 13 (all in handicaps), from which he is 4 from 11 at 11/12 furlongs, 3 from 10 over course and distance, 3 from 6 within 10 days of hos last run and 2 from 7 under today's jockey.
Most of his wins/runs here have been at Class 6, where he is 3 from 7, but he has won in this grade here as recently as four starts ago (finishes of 322 since). On the down side, his yard are 1 from 22 overall during the last ten days, whilst his jockey is in even worse form with 0 wins from 122 over the last seven weeks.
Blowing Dixie comes here looking for a change of fortune having been beaten in his last eleven outings since wining here in early January. The positives from that are that the win was over course and distance two grades higher than today and he now runs off a mark some 4lbs lower than that day and he drops in class today after being well beaten at Wolverhampton last time out off a mark of 72 (now at 68).
His new yard (moved this summer) has a good record at this track, whilst in seven runs here himself, he has finished 1131127, all in handicaps over course and distance and including 4 from 5 when unplaced last time out, 2 from 2 at this Class 5 level (also that Class 3 win from January) and he's 1 from 1 here in November.
Of our trio, I've read the above as Tynecastle Park, Cold Harbour and then Blowing Dixie, BUT I was more drawn to Sky Power, Notation and Thawry!
On to Instant Expert, which should show our trio on a favourable light...
...and that's certainly the case when you look at the place records. The sheer volume of races and consistency especially from TP and CH are staggering, although my enthusiasm is somewhat tempered by Tynecastle's lack of any previous run at this trip, although he hasn't been seeing 1m6f of late, so who knows?
Instant Expert from the win perspective tells a slightly different story...
Still good numbers for our three, but not as much green as previously and some red creeping in too. Small sample sizes from the remainder, but Notation has done well so far. Let's now consider the draw and pace make-up of this contest...
...where runners drawn in stalls 7-9 in 9-runner contests do considerably better winning 15 of 32 between them. Unfortunately for us, our featured runners are in stalls 1, 2 and 6 whilst the plum draws seem to have gone to Thawry, Mostallim and Sky Power. But over a mile and a half, I'm not going to get too hung up about the draw, when I believe that running style and race positioning are more important and our unique pace/draw heatmap tells us...
...that the ideal combination is a front running type coming from stalls 4-6, whilst those drawn either side of middle are best tucked in just behind the leader(s). To see how this race might pan out, we just need to overlay the runners' past performances...
...suggesting that Tynecastle Park not only looks the best suited of our trio under consideration, but might actually have the best pace/draw make-up in the race. Notation has led in the past and might well take it upon himself to try and set the fractions here. There won't be much pace in behind, so there's a possibility that Notation and Tynecastle Park attempt to get out and hold on. If Tynecastle runs this as he has run over 1m6f, he's going to be there or thereabouts, but there's a fear they might just wait with him.
Do I think any of the featured trio will win? Sadly not.
Who will fare best? I have it as Tynecastle Park, Cold Harbour and then Blowing Dixie.
So, who will win? The two I like the best here are Notation and Sky Power with a preference for the former. Sky Power is as short as 7/4 and I'm not that keen at such odds, whilst Notation's 3/1 seems fair.
That said, I think there's every chance that Tynecastle Park makes the frame and at 9/1, I wouldn't deter you from an E/W bet. I also expect Cold Harbour to be in the mix too and he's attractively priced at 12/1.